One thing that might not be apparent, is that despite the bear market we are currently in, not everything is doom and gloom. The technology that will revolutionize our lives still exists and is thriving. Multi-billion companies have been announcing steps towards cryptocurrency adoption, left and right. It is only a matter of time when everyone realizes how significant these developments are, despite them getting buried amongst the negativity surrounding the space these days.
In this article, I will be talking about 3 extremely Bullish news that surfaced (as much as they could) during the Bear market we are currently in and why we should be paying closer attention to these.
1. The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) Enters The Cryptocurrency Space
The Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) announced that it is forming a new start-up called Bakkt, “an open, seamless global network to enable you to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets simply, safely and efficiently”. This is arguably one of the most bullish news that has surfaced over the past few months.
Just to give you an idea how significant this announcement is, ICE is “an operator of global exchanges, clearing houses, data and listings services” and is one of the biggest players in Wall Street. Amongst others, it owns:
- 23 Regulated Exchanges — Amongst them, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) which is the world’s largest stock exchange, by a huge margin.
- 6 Clearing Houses — With, ICE Clear U.S. being amongst the top three in the United States.
Bakkt’s secure global platform will connect investors, merchants and consumers, making it easier, faster and more cost-effective to access, trade and use digital assets. Bakkt’s open-source, neutral platform will be designed to meet applicable regulatory requirements, and to support innovation around digital assets and blockchain applications
Bakkt is aiming to bring consumers and institutions:
- A seamless and efficient way for buying, selling, storing and spending digital assets within an efficient global ecosystem.
- A seamless integrated global platform for trading, warehousing and commerce.
- Increased security, leveraging ICE’s existing infrastructure, by bringing regulated trading, clearing and warehousing.
If the fact that Bakkt is being launched by ICE did not get you excited, how about the fact that Bakkt will be collaborating with companies including, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Microsoft and Starbucks?
Additionally, in November, ICE Futures U.S. is planning to launch physically delivered Bitcoin (BTC) futures in ICE’s regulated Digital Asset Warehouse, subject to regulatory review and approval. ICE’s Futures will be traded on their electronic trading platform which offers industry-leading speed and reliability whilst also being regulated by the CFTC. These futures will be cleared and guaranteed by ICE Clearing U.S.
You might be wondering what does this all mean? To put it simply, this will enable consumers and institutional investors to enter the cryptocurrency space easier and safer, via a regulated market infrastructure.
2. Putting Blockchain ‘on the Road’
It’s no secret that Volkswagen (VW) has been flirting with cryptocurrencies (and IOTA in particular) for some time. Just to give you an idea how big the VW group is, it consists of 12 motoring brands, including, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, Audi, Bugatti and was the the world’s largest carmaker in sales in 2017.
It all started back in January 2018, when VW’s Chief Digital Officer (CDO), Johann Jungwirth, joined the IOTA Foundation’s Supervisory Board.
Fast-forward to CEBIT 2018, which took place in June, VW presented a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) that uses IOTA for autonomous cars. In particular, this PoC showcased how VW could transfer software updates “over-the-air” as part of their new “Connected Car” systems.
If this news weren’t bullish enough, in an August tweet, VW has re-iterated their commitment to blockchain and “cryptosystems”. In addition, they launched a website explaining how they will put “blockchains on the road”.
Volkswagen AG is testing blockchain systems. This crypto technology offers enormous potential for maintenance, logistics, self-driving vehicles, and specialized solutions such as tamper-proof odometers.
What was particularly exciting to see, was the fact that they were also exploring use-cases for Bitcoin and Ethereum, in addition to, IOTA.
In my opinion, this news are extremely important (and bullish) for the whole ecosystem, as real use-cases of cryptocurrencies is what will cause prices to rise, stabilize and make them go mainstream. If you want to see more ‘real world application of cryptocurrencies’, make sure to check out my dedicated series on this matter.
3. Boerse Stuttgart (SWB) to launch an Initial Coin Offering Platform & Cryptocurrency Exchange
Boerse Stuttgart (SWB) is Germany’s market leader for exchange trading in corporate bonds, and the European market leader for exchange trading in securitised derivatives. In 2017, it had a trading volume of €81Bn across all asset classes, making it the tenth largest exchange in Europe. It lists over 1.6M securitized derivatives, 8K shares, 16K bonds and 3K funds/ETPs.
SWB is no stranger to the cryptocurrency space. In April 2018, it announced that one of its subsidiaries (Sowa Labs) was developing a cryptocurrency trading application called Bison. Bison is due to land in the Autumn and will offer no-fee access to cryptocurrency investments.
Developing a cryptocurrency trading application, was not enough for SWB. In the beginning of August, SWB announced its plans to extend their activities in the cryptocurrency space to both the primary and secondary markets. They announced that they will launch an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) platform which will allow clients to issue digital tokens for “corporate financing or to represent rights and assets”.
In addition, SWB is working to establish a multilateral and regulated trading venue in which the hosted ICOs will trade alongside decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Since this will be a regulated exchange, they are also planning on providing market participants with custodian services.
SWB’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexander Höptner, stated that “we are responding to demand from both retail and institutional investors for a regulated and reliable environment for trading cryptocurrencies” making it pretty obvious that interest in regulated cryptocurrency activities is building up.