The market made an unexpected bounce today, with most of the cryptocurrencies flashing green right now. In fact, all of the top 20 cryptocurrencies made small gains today and the total crypto market cap added over $4.5 Billion. As Ethereum closes in on its upcoming hard fork, it made bigger gains. The difference in market caps between XRP and Ethereum is just $150 Million, and Ethereum could regain its second spot in the next few hours if the gains continue. However, an unexpected outcome from the hard fork could severely affect its price.
In other news, a recent report published by the research firm Diar shows that cryptocurrency exchanges closed 2018 with “record transaction volumes,” as both the number of trades and the trade volume increased on major crypto exchanges in 2018 when compared to data from 2017. The USD markets on Coinbase increased by 21% in 2018 while Kraken saw an increase of 192% and Bitfinex saw an increase of 50%. Also, Chinese mining giant Bitmain has decided to shut down another one of its overseas offices. This time, it is Amsterdam. Bitmain claims it is a part of its process in making the business sustainable and scalable over the long term. Bitmain is estimated to have lost over $700 Million in Q4 2018 alone, and the company is laying off a large number of its employees worldwide to make up for these losses.
1) On Monday Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler announced that Bakkt has acquired “certain assets of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), an independent futures commission merchant.” In a Medium post, Loeffler further explained that the acquisitions will “enhance our risk management and treasury operations with systems and expertise.” Loeffler also explained that the acquisition will bolster Bakkt’s regulatory, AML / KYC and customer service capacity. In a recent interview with Fortune, Loeffler said that this particular acquisition “confirms that the cryptocurrency trading company is speeding up its plans to revolutionize the way people pay for everything from coffee to cars.” At the moment Bakkt is waiting for regulatory approval from the CFTC. (Read More)
2) Bittrex has revealed a new over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk which will allow authorized clients to “quickly and conveniently trade assets”. The trading desk will support all 200 digital assets available on the platform and traders looking to trade a minimum of $250,000 will have the option of “guaranteed pricing” on major trades. The platform is already live, and Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara said that “this offering will be another way for Bittrex to further advance the adoption of blockchain technology worldwide”. Coinbase Prime, Poloniex and Circle already offer OTC trading services and recent reporting has found that massive amounts of transaction volume occurred across OTC trading desks in 2018. (Read More)
3) HSBC announced that is had settled more than $250 billion worth of transactions through the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT). According to HSBC, 3 million foreign exchange (FX) transactions were made, and 150,000 payments were sent using the HSBC FX Everywhere. The bank said that the platform has produced “significant efficiencies and opportunities” as the organization can verify that payments are settled without having to seek external confirmation and all intra-company trade data is unified on a “shared, single version of the truth.” Richard Bibbey, the HSBC global head of FX and commodities, explained that the bank and its clients manage thousands of foreign exchange transactions across the globe and he intimated that “we are now exploring how this technology could help our multinational clients who also have multiple treasury centers and cross-border supply chains.” (Read More)