An exchange traded note (ETN) that tracks Bitcoin and targets U.S. investors is now listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange. As Bloomberg reported Wednesday, August 15, the product dubbed Bitcoin Tracker One is now being quoted in USD under the ticker CXBTF.

Bitcoin Tracker One is issued by Swedish company XBT Provider, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK company Global Advisors (Holdings) Limited, and has been available since May 2015 quoted in Euros and Swedish Krona (SEK).

“Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona. Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin,” said Ryan Radloff, the chief executive officer of CoinShares Holdings Ltd., the company that holds all the shares of XBT Provider.

Bitcoin Tracker One can be considered a soft opening of sorts for a crypto ETF, which has been repeatedly shot down by U.S. regulators in recent months amid concerns about manipulation and liquidity.

Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s request to list a fund designed by digital entrepreneurs Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss was denied last month, while a decision on a rival product from fund providers VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc. was pushed back until at least September.

Trading Bitcoin Tracker One is now similar to buying an American depositary receipt, in that traders will see a foreign-listed asset in U.S. dollars. Investors can purchase so-called F shares, which means that while the trades are executed in U.S. dollars, they are settled, cleared and held in custody in its home market, according to OTC Markets Group.

Unlike exchange-traded funds, ETNs are debt instruments that are backed by their issuers — often a bank — rather than a pool of assets and often focus on esoteric strategies that don’t easily fit in a fund. Bitcoin Tracker One may give investors an alternative to Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust, which also offers exposure to Bitcoin. The Grayscale product trades at a significant premium to the underlying asset.

“I do see this as a competitive product,” Radloff said. “Our products historically have not traded at a premium and are liquid.”

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Even though usage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is steadily increasing each year, Brian Armstrong, the CEO of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, believes that it will take some time before they will reach true mass adoption for payments, at least in the United States.

“I think it will be quite some time before you cross the street to Starbucks in the U.S. and pay with crypto,” Brian Armstrong said in an interview with Bloomberg.

Starbucks recently denied rumors that it will allow its customers to pay with Bitcoin at its outlets, even though the Seattle-based company recently joined forces with Microsoft and New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange on a new digital platform.

“Customers will not be able to pay for Frappuccinos with Bitcoin,” a Starbucks spokesperson told Motherboard earlier this month, refuting a story published by CNBC.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Players Technology Summit, Armstrong said that today only about 10 percent of cryptocurrencies are used in real life. Still, he sees positive signs for the future.

“People’s expectations are all over the map, but real-world adoption has been going up each year,” he said. “I’m bullish on countries that are going through economic crisis, over the next three to five years, where everyone has the internet and a smartphone, you could see people adopting Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as an alternative.”

Armstrong also said that this technology “is going through a series of bubbles and corrections”, and each time reaches a new level.

“We’ve been through four or five of them now where Bitcoin made this big run-up in price and there was irrational exuberance, and then it corrected back 60 or 70 percent… It has kind of matched the growth of our company. If you go back to 2012/2013 when we started, we had 500 people a day signing up. After the next bubble and correction, we had 5,000 people a day sign up. And now it’s more like 50,000 a day signing up.”

However, Armstrong warns that there will be barriers in certain countries where governments want to discourage the use of Bitcoin.

“Most places in the free world are adopting this technology. They rightly want to protect consumers though,” he said. “There are going to be some countries in the world, just like the internet, where Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are restricted.”

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Ukraine moved closer to regulating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as financial instruments after head of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission (SSMCS) Timur Khromaev said the corresponding bill could be submitted for the Parliament’s consideration by the end of 2018 or early next year.

According to local media, Timur Khromaev referred to cryptocurrency as a financial tool, while stressing that it can’t be considered legal tender.

“Crypto units are more like financial tools, they are not legal tender. They are a unit of account and a store of value. This is more like shares, bonds, or promissory notes. We plan to recognize cryptocurrency as a financial asset and allow people to invest in it and use these financial tools,” he said.

The official also noted that Ukraine’s approach to cryptocurrencies is similar to that of such countries as Switzerland, Malta and Gibraltar, adding that the official Kyiv should create conditions for the development of cryptocurrency market in the country as well

Last month, Timur Khromaev said The Financial Stability Council of Ukraine was supportive of a concept for crypto regulations which establishes the roles and functions of governmental bodies in regulating those instruments, in addition to licensing transaction participants, defining information disclosure conditions, and other factors.

The Financial Stability Council comprises of the Governor the National Bank of Ukraine, the Minister of Finance, heads of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission and the National Commission for State Regulation of Financial Services Markets, and Managing Director of the Deposit Guarantee Fund. They are tasked with detecting and minimizing risks to the stability of the national financial and banking systems. Decisions made by the council are recommendatory.

As reported by ForkLog, The Digital Law that was introduced to Russian parliament in March, would not legalize cryptocurrency payments either, however, the bill suggests that in the future such currencies will be used as payment “in controlled quantities.”

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While many commentators believe a regulatory approved Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could boost prices of the largest cryptocurrency, blockchain pioneer Nick Szabo says it might cause more problems than it’s actually worth.

In his recent tweet Nick Szabo insists he is not “lobbying for an ETF or for Wall Street-managed money in general.”

The cryptography veteran also said that the recent sell-off by dumb money has or soon will deprecate many opinionated know-nothings in this space, adding that “we don’t need new ones to take their place”.

Nick Szabo also responded to some comments with one user saying he never understood the hype of Bitcoin ETFs and calling them a waste of time, and the other one claiming that if you want Bitcoin to be a global thing, then investors will want something that is easy and regulated.

“They are used to assets are already trust-based like bonds and stocks. OTOH most of the world’s gold is under the custody of its owners. Bitcoin can be even more securely stored than gold. You are losing Bitcoin’s main benefit by trusting somebody else to store it for you,” said Szabo.

As noted by Bitcoinist, Szabo’s words come amid an increasingly sage climate regarding the real benefit of an ETF to Bitcoin’s march to mainstream acceptance.

Having previously championed US regulators greenlighting the nine applications currently under consideration, some industry figures have since suggested an ETF would not be a magic bullet for Bitcoin.

“…Hopefully [HODLers]… will realize Wall St is not [Bitcoin’s] friend,” former Morgan Stanley senior executive Caitlin Long commented about the situation Sunday, while Szabo referenced Cenacle Capital managing director Bill Ulivieri, who said he was “losing respect for the Bitcoin community” over its ETF support.

“Everyone wants an ETF but without the backoffice / hard to borrow/ fail to deliver consequences,” he added. “[It’s] like they want physical stock certificates on [Bitcoin…].”

The recent announcement by New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) it would build and open a digital asset platform by November meanwhile led to further considerations.

Brian Kelly, the CNBC commentator and investment manager, claimed that the appearance of ICE’s Bakkt platform would “significantly help the chances” of an ETF, while social media commentator even suggested it would make an ETF “completely redundant.”

So far, regulators have opted to delay judgment on new ETF applications after refusing Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ submission for a second time last month.

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Falling prices of the vast majority of cryptocurrencies have sent the total market capitalization back below $200 billion on Tuesday, August 14, with Bitcoin falling below $6,000.

Following successive days of market declines, the total market cap slid to $189 billion earlier today.

The decline is accompanied by continued growth in the Bitcoin dominance rate which rose above 50 percent for the first time in 2018 on August 11. At press time, that figure, according to the CoinMarketCap data, is being reported around 54 percent, its highest annual total.

The market cap first rose above $200 billion in November 2017, a development spurred at the time by the listing of Bitcoin futures products.

The largest cryptocurrency also fell significantly over the last hours, sinking below $6,000. At press time, Bitcoin is changing hands at $5,922 on Bitstamp. This figure is within the touching distance of the 2018 lowest point of 5,826,41 set on June 24.

As reported by ForkLog , Ether (ETH), the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, fell below $300 for the first time in 2018 on Monday, August 13, reaching levels last seen in November 2017.

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Ether (ETH), the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, fell below $300 for the first time in 2018 on Monday, August 13, reaching levels last seen in November 2017.

According to CoinMarketCap data, at 16:44 UTC Ether went below $300 to reach $299.68. One hour later the cryptocurrency’s average exchange rate was $289.16.

This made Ether the biggest loser among the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization with reported 24-hour loss of 9.36 percent. Over the seven-day streak its price fell by over 28 percent, and its individual market capitalization also fell by more than $10 billion within that period.

Despite demonstrating momentum throughout January to July, Ether has been one of the worst performing digital assets throughout August. Some analysts have attributed such a steep drop in price to the sell-off of ETH by multiple initial coin offerings (ICOs) and blockchain projects.

For example, data provided by SANbase shows that over the last 30 days ERC-20 projects like Atonomi sold off 12,000 ETH followed by Cobinhood (10,710 ETH), Envion (9,840 ETH), Etheroll (9,170 ETH), AppCoins (8,420 ETH), Cofound.it (6,340 ETH), OneLedger (5,380 ETH), GoNetWork (5,004 ETH), and Status (4,800 ETH).

There could be other contributing factors to the Ether price decline as well, however, such a massive sell-off is definitely worth paying attention to.

At press time (19:30 UTC), Ether was changing hands at an average price of 289.92.

In the parallel developments, Bitcoin has gone as high as $6,537 earlier on Monday only to fall below $6,230 later on. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is down nearly $15 billion from its daily high of $219.4 billion and is currently sitting at just above $205 billion, CoinMarketCap data shows.

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As the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining company Bitmain Technologies is filing for an initial public offering (IPO) hoping to raise $18 billion on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange at a market capitalization of $40 to $50 billion, observers are already sending potential red flags to the investors.

According to documents obtained earlier this week by CoinDesk, Bitmain’s proposed public offering could end up being the largest in history.

However, in his tweet on Sunday, August 12, Samson Mow, the CSO of Blockstream, points to the fact that in the last three months Bitmain sold most of their Bitcoin worth half a billion USD for Bitcoin Cash.

Samson Mow also says that hadn’t Bitcoin Core developers found and disclosed a critical Bitcoin Cash consensus vulnerability, it could’ve wiped a billion dollars off Bitmain’s balance sheets.

The vulnerability in question was initially discovered in April 2018 by Bitcoin Core developer from MIT Media Labs Cory Fields. Referred as “SIGHASH_BUG”, it could potentially result in a chain split making it completely impossible for users to make transactions.

“A successful exploit of this vulnerability could have been so disruptive that transacting Bitcoin Cash safely would no longer be possible, completely undermining the utility (and thus the value) of the currency itself. Instead, the vulnerability was fixed without incident, and publicly disclosed on May 7, 2018,” Cory Fields wrote in a blog post.

Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that is distinct from and incompatible with Bitcoin. It is named as such because it is derived from Bitcoin. The now-fixed bug only affected Bitcoin Cash; the only relation to Bitcoin is the similar name.

Samson Mow elaborated on his findings adding:

“The Bitmain IPO is incredibly risky for any investor to buy into. The potential for massive losses is just around the corner as they have no idea how to maintain BCH, but are all-in. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

A user writing under the handle @ProfLastBattle also mentions that “selling just 30k of BCH will destroy the whole orderbook on Bitfinex,” adding that “there’s absolutely no way they can sell it.”

“I guess that is why they want to IPO? They can’t sell their assets, but if they can sell stock then they won’t need to! They have to IPO before the next quarterly report to get a higher valuation, as BCH was down over 80% from a few months ago (march 2018),” he added.

Beijing-based Bitmain is headed up by 32-year-old Jihan Wu, who founded the  company only five years ago . Eralier this summer, Bloomberg reported that Wu was considering taking Bitmain public with a vision to position the company as a ruthless competitor in the circuit chip industry.

So far, Wu’s pursuit has proved successful: Bitmain has become one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency companies and recently began to manufacture chip hardware for the artificial intelligence industry. In the first sixth months of 2018 alone, Bitmain raked in $2.5 billion in revenue. The company has also received $450 million in funding from investors including Sequoia, GIC, and IDG Capital.

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Facebook blockchain head David Marcus is quitting the board of directors at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase with his departure most likely being a signal that the social networking giant’s secretive blockchain efforts are progressing.

In a statement published by CoinDesk David Marcus said:

“Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign from the Coinbase board.”

A Coinbase spokesperson said Marcus’ decision to step down was made to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, but declined to elaborate.

Marcus joined the board at Coinbase in December 2017. At the time, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said Marcus would apply his expertise in the “payments and mobile space” to guide the San Francisco-based company in its overall mission.

At Facebook’s F8 conference in May 2018, Marcus was named the company’s new blockchain research lead. The social media giant has not released any details about the work it is doing in the field, though Marcus’ team reportedly has fewer than a dozen members.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong thanked Marcus for his service in a separate statement.

“David Marcus has been a wonderful addition to the Coinbase board, providing valuable perspective and mentorship.” 

Business Insider reported Friday that Facebook had spoken to “a number of crypto projects” on how it can leverage the technology. One of these projects includes Stellar, which developed the XLM cryptocurrency, however, later that day a Facebook spokesman told Cheddar that the company is “not engaged in any discussions with Stellar, and we are not considering building on their technology.”

The establishment of the blockchain team at Facebook followed the implementation of a broader shake-up of the company’ product team, which led to the formation of three separate divisions: a “family of apps” group, “central product services” and “new platforma and infra.”

Later that month, anonymous sources familiar with “Facebook’s plans” told Cheddar that Facebook is “exploring” the creation of its own in-app cryptocurrency, despite having banned crypto ads on the platform earlier this year.

Notably, after Facebook said in July it would update its policy “to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers,” Coinbase ads are now appearing again on both Facebook and Instagram.

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Despite recent bearish trends on the crypto markets, Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX has traded more than 1 million BTC contracts in a single day for the second time in a month. A total of 1,027,214.62 Bitcoin contracts (worth roughly $6.6 billion) were traded on Wednesday, August 8, following the company setting the world record on July 25.

On the back of this news, BitMEX also announces the launch of two innovative financial products, ETHUSD perpetual swap product and UPs and DOWNs, to meet market demand:

ETHUSD perpetual swap product is based on the success of BitMEX’s XBTUSD swap product. customers can now trade ETHUSD price at leverage, while avoiding issues with settlement and large amounts of basis inherent to typical futures products. Within one week of launching, this product is now one of the most liquid instruments globally to trade the Ethereum / USD pair.

“UPs and DOWNs” lets BitMEX users take advantage of call and put options. UPs, or Upside Profit Contracts, work similarly to traditional stock call options by giving token holders the right to purchase crypto-coins on BitMEX at a specified price for a predetermined period of time. DOWNs, or Downside Profit Contracts, act like traditional put options, letting token holders sell a crypto-coin on the platform at a specified price.

BitMEX CEO and co-founder Arthur Hayes said:

“Once again meeting our own record of 1 million bitcoin traded within 24 hours is a major milestone for the crypto-coin market and testament to the strong community BitMEX is growing. In continuously engaging with, and truly listening to, the needs our customers, we’ve recognized an overwhelming demand for innovative financial products that give the crypto market greater versatility. It’s thanks to our discerning community that we have launched our two innovative, new products: the ETHUSD perpetual swap product and UPs and DOWNs. With futures, swaps, and now options available on BitMEX, we are making great strides toward offering a wealth of derivative products designed for the crypto-coin industry.”

The exchange also claims that its XBT/USD markets are the most liquid on the planet.

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Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance took a big step towards becoming a decentralized exchange when it revealed a “rough, pre-alpha” demo version of its upcoming new DEX platform.

The platform could eventually take over from Binance’s current, centralized exchange platform, which currently handles more trading volume than any other exchange in the world, BitcoinExchangeGuide reports.

The Binance decentralized exchange is built on the Binance Chain, a public blockchain project first announced by the exchange in May.

In a video walk-through, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao described the demo release as a “small step” for the Binance Chain project but a “big step” for Binance overall. Zhao claims that Binance “will transition from being a company to a community,” and sees decentralized technology as the way of the future.

“As a public blockchain, Binance Chain will mainly focus on the transfer and trading of blockchain assets, as well as provide new possibilities for the future flow of blockchain assets,” Binance announced back in May.

The long-term goal of Binance Chain is to launch a high-performance, easy-to-use, liquid blockchain platform capable of supporting Binance’s trading activities.

“Binance Chain will focus on performance, ease-of-use, and liquidity. Binance Coin (BNB) will be upgraded to exist on its own blockchain mainnet, becoming a native coin. At the same time, Binance will transition from being a company to a community.”

There is no further information about future releases for Binance DEX, with the exchange insisting the platform is “still in early pre-stage development.” The video in Zhao’s tweet is described as “a casual early pre-alpha demo,” however one can see developers create a mock-up token, issue it on the Binance Chain blockchain, sell that token, and create a buy order for it.

Binance and Binance DEX Will “Coexist for Some Time”

According to Zhao, Binance isn’t going to immediately transfer to become a decentralized exchange. Instead, he sees the current centralized trading platform and DEX “coexisting for some time,” allowing the market to choose what it prefers.

Binance Criticized For Not Being a Truly Decentralized Exchange

A major exchange like Binance launching a decentralized exchange platform might seem like a good thing for the crypto community. However, certain members of the community are criticizing Binance’s DEX for not being truly decentralized.

For example, a Twitter user writing as DecentralizedMatt claims Binance DEX can’t be considered a fully decentralized exchange because the company can freeze or de-list coins at will.

He also brings up the point that Binance charges a 400 BTC (around $2.6 million at current rates) listing fee, something Christopher Franko, co-founder and CEO of blockchain platform Expanse, claimed recently on social media.

As reported earlier this summer, Binance made its first public acquisition, having bought a decentralized Trust Wallet, a decentralized wallet service for digital tokens that also serves as a browser for so-called decentralized applications. It allows users to hold Ethereum, and over 20,000 different Ethereum based tokens.

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