HyperLinq : Weekly Digital Asset Digest 5

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Rohan Raman
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The HyperLinq Weekly Digest is the one-stop source for the HyperLinq community to access relevant news involving digital assets, where we essentially outline key industry updates that our members may have missed. We are always open to suggestions and feedback so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think!


Crypto Futures and Institutional Interest - Looking in the Wrong Place : Noelle Acheson | CoinDesk

Last week, the CBOE let its traders know that it would not be renewing its futures contracts on bitcoin. The reactions, as expected have been a little dramatic. Although the news is not bad for the sector’s outlook, it shines a light on the recurring role of misplaced expectations in driving market narratives. Bitcoin futures was first offered by the CBOE in December 2017 and was followed by CME with a similar product. Volumes have been declining at both, but institutional traders seemed to prefer the CME’s product. This is mostly because the CME is larger than the CBOE futures exchange and that CME's settlement methods are more favorable. CBOE uses the Gemini auction price to determine the value of its contracts – an amount determined once a day on thin volume, and the CME relies on an index comprised of data from a handful of liquid exchanges. Institutional investors prefer CME's settlement methods as it is less manipulable. The withdrawal of this product is unlikely to make a noticeable impact on trading strategies. Volumes are low, and since the CME has stated its intention to continue offering its version, those that used the CBOE can relatively easily switch to the more liquid contract.

WSJ: Ex-Enron CEO Meets with Crypto Experts for New Venture Following Prison Release : Marie Huillet | CoinTelegraph

Jeffrey Skilling, the former CEO of Enron infamous for his 12-year stint in prison after a 19 count conviction (including securities fraud, conspiracy, insider trading, and deceiving auditors) for his "contribution" to his firm's collapse is allegedly meeting crypto-experts for his new business venture. The Wall Street Journal reports that Skilling is seeking partners for his new venture, which like Enron, will belong to the energy finance sector. Several early advisers have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, and at least one former colleague — the former Enron head of energy services, Lou L. Pai — has pledged to invest in the undertaking. However, both the WSJ and CNBC report that the project is yet to secure financial backing. Several blockchain projects for the energy financing sector precede Skilling’s idea — such as the blockchain-powered platform Vakt for energy commodity trading, which continues to onboard major industry players including BP, Shell, and Total.

Japan Set to Address New Crypto Regulations at the G20 Summit in June : Daily Hodl Staff

According to local news outlet Sankei, the upcoming G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, from June 28th to 29th, lists cryptocurrencies as a leading topic on the agenda. Recent amendments to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law and the Fund Settlement Act regarding virtual currencies and the digital economy will be addressed by Japan's government at the Summit. Crypto security will see particular focus as well, keeping in mind the Coincheck hack, which drained $532 million worth of NEM last year from the Japanese crypto exchange. Following this hack, a legislation has been introduced by Japan's Financial Services Agency that requires customers to manage their crypto-wallets using "cold wallets." Crypto margin transactions are to be regulated more tightly, permitting Japanese trading platforms to offer leverage up to four times more than traders’ deposits – significantly less than the 100x leveraged trades on BitMEX, the world’s top exchange for Bitcoin and crypto derivatives.

Cryptocurrency ATM Market Expected to Grow Tenfold By 2024, According to New Report : Anton Cebalo | BeInCrypto

The global crypto ATM market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 46.6 percent per year according to ResearchAndMarkets.com. This forecast equates to the market reaching $183 million by 2024, which is a tenfold increase in just five years. Crypto-ATMs, although with a limited reach and questions about usage, are a common sight in many US malls, shops, and commercial areas. Most of the growth will come from the Asian-Pacific Region majorly in the hospitality industry. In conducting its findings, the report profiled many key players in the space including Genesis Coin, Inc., General Bytes, Bitaccess, Coinsource, and others. Seamless transition between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies is a must for crypto's long term viability, and since crypto-ATM's serve as a bridge, their expected explosive growth over the next five years should come as no surprise.

New York Grants Its 18th BitLicense to Crypto ‘Prime Broker’ Tagomi : Nikhilesh De | CoinDesk

The New York Department of Financial Services has awarded its latest BitLicense to crypto brokerage startup Tagomi Trading LLC. Announced Wednesday, this is the 18th such license issued since the NYDFS finalized its controversial regulatory regime for virtual currency businesses in 2015. CEO Greg Tusar said in a statement that the approval means Tagomi will be New York’s first agency brokerage for virtual currencies, meaning that it will place trades on clients’ behalf in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, and litecoin and look to fill their orders at the best prices available as quickly as possible. Tagomi recently raised $12 million to offer prime brokerage services to hedge funds investing in cryptocurrencies. The startup went live in December, with a total of $28 million raised overall. With its new virtual currency license, Tagomi joins the likes of exchanges Coinbase and Gemini; market maker Genesis Global Trading; payments startups Ripple and Square; investing firm Robinhood, and Bitcoin ATM operators Coinsource and Cottonwood Vending.

Swiss Mortgage Bank Hypi Lenzburg Partners With Crypto Asset Manager TokenSuisse : Marie Huillet | CoinTelegraph

Swiss mortgage bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg has partnered with Swiss crypto asset manager TokenSuisse to expand the bank’s service offerings for crypto and blockchain firms. The development was announced on the bank’s official Twitter and in a TokenSuisse press release on March 25. TokenSuisse AG is a Zug-based crypto asset and blockchain investment advisory firm and an official partner of crypto-fiat payments firm TokenPay. The firm, as financial media news agency FinNews reported, claims to have launched the world’s first global multi-crypto asset certificate, followed by a privacy coin certificate this February. As recently published, Hypi Lenzburg signed an agreement this January with Swiss crypto bank Seba that will allow for the implementation of Seba’s decentralized software into the Hypi’s core traditional banking system, Finstar. The partnership also reportedly will enable Seba to use Finstar to process and store transactions made with cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based products. Seba is notably expecting to receive a banking and securities license from the Swiss financial regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, in the first half of 2019.

Massive Adoption: Vietnam Just Authorized Its First Crypto Exchange For The Population Of 95M People : Abhimanyu Krishnan | InvestInBlockchain

Vietnam will get its first licensed crypto exchange, thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Link Thanh Group, the nation’s largest distribution group, and KRONN Ventures AG, a blockchain company from Switzerland’s crypto valley. In October 2018, KRONN Ventures AG formed a consortium with financial committees of five Asian developing countries including Vietnam, Philippines, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka to build an international wiring system using blockchain technology that fits with the Asian environment. Since Vietnam and its Linh Thanh Group became the first place for this deal, the other countries in the consortium are growing concerned that they will be deprived of the opportunity to kickstart the Asia-wide transnational wiring system using blockchain. The group’s press release states that it expects the development to spread to other countries, and the impact felt in Vietnam will be felt in surrounding regions. KRONN says that it has the license to operate but Vietnamese lawmakers, although they have banned crypto-related activities, are still deliberating on how to approach crypto in the long run.

Japan Green Lights 2nd Crypto Exchange for April Launch as Data Shows Huge Interest : William Suberg | CoinTelegraph

Japanese financial regulators approved a second cryptocurrency exchange to begin operations this week, a press release from local exchange DeCurret, the applicant, confirmed on March 25.DeCurret, which joins an offering from e-commerce giant Rakuten in launching on the domestic market, will begin trading on April 16. Together with Rakuten Wallet, previously known as Everybody’s Bitcoin, next month will mark the debut of new-to-market Japanese exchanges approved under new licensing laws. The news coincides with statistics shared with cryptocurrency-focused news and data resource Bitcoin.com by Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, which show the true extent of interest in the expanding market. According to the data, over 140 entities have approached the FSA regarding approval of an exchange since March 2018. As Cointelegraph reported, the coming year should see that number increase significantly. Among those eyeing a piece of the industry is Yahoo! Japan, which earlier this week said it hoped to launch its part-owned exchange in May.

Indian Street Protests for Cryptocurrency : Mohammed Musharraf | CoinTelegraph

The fourth and most significant of a series of blockchain supporter rallies is set for Bangalore on March 30 and is anticipated to have a substantial public impact because of the planned participation of numerous developers — the key to India’s blockchain growth. Previous rallies this month in Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad saw thousands of crypto and blockchain enthusiasts and professional stakeholders take to the streets. The Reserve Bank of India ordered financial institutions to stop dealing with cryptocurrency businesses last year, with a ban coming into effect on July 5. The government and India’s Supreme Court have since wrestled with whether that ban is proper, holding hearings and postponing crucial decisions as the debate ensued. The RBI’s ban on financial institutions from dealing with crypto exchanges and users has tremendously affected the acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the Indian subcontinent. Additionally, the sustained indecisiveness of the Indian government over crypto regulation has turned merchants accepting crypto payments skeptical of the legitimacy of digital money. This, in turn, has barred them from continuing to provide products and services in return for cryptocurrencies. That has caused Indian businesses much agitation, even among those who have previously embraced the crypto revolution.

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Rohan Raman

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