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In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers

In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers

In this edition of The Daily we cover the latest international expansion by SMS bitcoin cash wallet Cointext, the new Keycard hardware wallet and the withdrawal of a cryptocurrency ETF proposal. Also, a gang of cyber criminals allegedly used the popular battle royale game PUBG to coordinate stealing millions in cryptocurrency.

Also Read: In the Daily: Quadrigacx Losses, Bithumb UAE, Coinbase Cloud Backup, Chainalysis Funding

Cointext Expands to Two More Markets

Cointext, a platform that enables users to transfer cryptocurrency offline using simple text messages, has launched its service in two new European markets. The SMS bitcoin cash (BCH) wallet has now been made available in Denmark and the island of Jersey. This brings the total number of regions around the world supported by the network up to 42. New users in these markets can get a Cointext wallet by texting START to the access number 4592452565 in Denmark or 447937900030 in Jersey.

In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers
Saint Aubin, Jersey, Channel Islands, UK

The Cointext wallet allows anyone with even a basic mobile device that supports text messages to send electronic cash to other phone numbers or BCH addresses. What’s more, to receive the money, the recipients don’t even need to download a wallet, install an application, set up an account or even have access to the internet.

Status Hardwallet Relaunched as Keycard

Status has announced on Wednesday that it is reintroducing Hardwallet as Keycard – a hardware wallet with an open API that is meant to enable developers from the community to integrate it with other wallets or hardware and even build their own smartcards. The new hardware resembles the form of a credit card and it relies on NFC technology instead of a connected USB port to unlock private keys and enable contactless payments. The company says that when the card is available for purchase, it will cost around $29 and will ship anywhere in the world. It is also said to support several digital assets including BCH, BTC, LTC, XRP, ETH and ERC20 tokens.

In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers

The company revealed that a couple of teams are already developing applications based on the Keycard API and hardware. “The Keycard API is an excellent open-source reference implementation for applying standards across the crypto industry to JavaCard development. If you’re developing a JavaCard applet that utilizes crypto, this is the place to start,” said Mark D’Agostino, the CEO of Grid+.

The first batch of Keycards are said to be in production and expected to be available for developers to beta test in March. The company hasn’t set a hard date yet as to when Keycard will be available for purchase by the general public.

SEC Forces Reality Shares ETF Withdrawal

This Monday, Reality Shares ETF Trust filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an ETF that will invest in bitcoin futures as part of its investment strategies. However, by Tuesday the SEC already forced the withdrawal of the crypto ETF proposal. The Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF was meant to be an actively managed fund listed on the NYSE Arca exchange. Its portfolio was supposed to include bitcoin futures traded on the Cboe Futures Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as well as sovereign debts and money market mutual funds.

In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers

The withdrawal request reads: “Reality Shares ETF Trust hereby respectfully requests the withdrawal of…the Trust’s Registration Statement…as it applies to the registration of the Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF…The Registrant is requesting the withdrawal…at the request of the Staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. No securities have been sold in connection with the offering of the Fund.”

Turkish Hackers Used PUBG to Communicate

Sadly, hackers targeting crypto ventures is nothing new or out of the ordinary these days. However, from time to time a case involves an aspect which is hard to ignore, such as using a video game as a tool for cyber crime.

According to reports from Turkey, police forces have arrested two dozen people in raids across the country suspected of involvement with the theft of millions in cryptocurrency. This relatively large group of people was coordinating its operations by communicating via the popular online multiplayer battle royale video game Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), Turkish cyber police investigators reportedly claim.

In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers

The PUBG gang allegedly stole 13 million Turkish liras (almost $2.5 million USD) by hacking a cryptocurrency company in Istanbul and diverting funds from two of its accounts. During the police raids, a reported 54,000 Turkish liras in fiat cash and 1.3 million lira’s worth of cryptocurrency was seized from the suspects.

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Status.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post In the Daily: Cointext Expansion, Keycard Wallet, ETF Withdrawal, PUBG Hackers appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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ETF Filed With SEC to Invest in Bitcoin Futures, Bonds, and Mutual Funds

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A registration statement for a new exchange-traded fund (ETF) that will invest in bitcoin futures among other traditional investments has been filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund’s portfolio will include bitcoin futures traded on the Cboe Futures Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange as well as sovereign debts and money market mutual funds.

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New ETF Filing

Reality Shares ETF Trust filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday for an ETF that will invest in bitcoin futures as part of its investment strategies. The Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF will be an actively managed fund listed on the NYSE Arca exchange. The fund is “designed to provide investment exposure to global currencies, both fiat and virtual currencies,” its filing reads.

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The new proposed ETF will invest in a portfolio comprised of “high-quality, short-term (no greater than 18-month maturity), sovereign debt instruments” listed for trading on U.S. exchanges in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds, Japanese yen, and Swiss francs. According to the filing, it will also invest in “bitcoin futures contracts of various maturities listed for trading on U.S. exchanges that provide exposure to the price movements of bitcoin” as well as “money market mutual funds and/or other cash equivalents.”

Investing in Bitcoin Futures

The registration statement for the Reality Shares Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF details:

The fund plans to invest in the bitcoin futures traded on the Cboe Futures Exchange Llc … and/or the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) but may invest in bitcoin futures traded on other exchanges in the future.

In addition, the fund expects to obtain exposure to bitcoin futures by investing up to 25 percent of its total assets in a wholly owned and controlled Cayman Islands subsidiary. The filing explains that the investment adviser to the fund “will seek to limit the subsidiary’s investment in bitcoin futures so the fund’s aggregate notional exposure to bitcoin futures is limited to 15% of the fund’s net assets at the time of investment.”

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Existing Blockchain ETFs

Reality Shares already offers two blockchain ETFs created in partnership with Nasdaq: The Reality Shares Nasdaq Nexgen Economy ETF (BLCN) and the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain China Index (BCNA).

The former was incepted on Jan. 17 last year and seeks long-term growth by tracking the investment returns of the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain Economy Index. The latter was incepted on June 20 last year and seeks long-term growth by tracking the investment returns of the Reality Shares Nasdaq Blockchain China Index comprised of blockchain-related companies located in Hong Kong and mainland China.

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Bitcoin ETF News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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For the past year, the cryptocurrency media’s mood has been swept along on a rollercoaster of Bitcoin ETF headlines. Considering the severity and the timespan of the coinciding crypto bear market, the desperation for an imminent ETF approval comes as no surprise.

Although it’s understandable that many of us would pin our hopes on a crypto ETF as catalyst for a dramatic turnaround of market sentiment, the historical context shows that our wishes may be both premature and misdirected. Let me explain.

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Reality Check: ETF Approvals within Historical Context

Announcements of crypto ETF applications have become more frequent than ever before, and yet the first proposal for a Bitcoin ETF was filed already on the first of July 2013 by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. Since then, at least eight other firms (SolidX & Van Eck, Grayscale, ProShares, Direxion, GraniteShares, First Trust, REX Shares, and Bitwise) have submitted their own proposals with the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To date, every single proposal put before the SEC regulators has either been denied, withdrawn, or is pending a (delayed) decision.

While the almost 6-year wait may seem harsh and hopeless, Bitwise Asset Management, the first company to launch a crypto index funds and the most recent firm to file for a Bitcoin ETF, casts the delay in a different light:

The truth is that every “first” in the ETF industry was preceded by multiple years of struggle. For instance, it took:

  • More than six years between the first filing for a leveraged ETF and the first SEC approval;
  • Nearly six years between the publication of the SEC’s first “conceptual release” on actively managed ETFs and the approval of the first active ETF;
  • Nine years between the launch of the first ETF and the launch of the first fixed-income ETF, despite significant efforts in the interim.

Reality Check Take 2: Crypto Market Maturity

The history of long waits above already adds a more realistic perspective to the potential of a crypto ETF approval. Apart from this historical context, an honest look at the crypto industry’s present developmental stage shows that hopes of an imminent crypto ETF launch are probably premature.

On his view of the present state and long-term view of the crypto industry, Bitstocks’ Cryptocurrency Investment Associate, Stephen Ierotheou stresses that the “Market is so much in its infancy that it would be unnatural for an ETF to be approved.”

Cryptocurrency Portfolio Manager, James Coughlan is much in agreement, emphasising the importance of focussing on the industry’s long-term development instead of short-term goals:

“The one thing I like to instil in potential and current investors is that this market is very much in its infancy. To be concerned about (things like) the price at this point is not the right way to evaluate the situation. What we need to be focussing on is the technology and the way that the technology is growing on a day-to-day basis with some fantastic developers working on crypto projects, and the future will only get better.

When a tech is in its very early stages, you can’t expect it to kick-off and be perfect from day one. My major point is, not to worry about the price because it’s the tech that matters. Providing we keep seeing infrastructure get built around the industry and development work happening, the price will pick up at some point.”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Crypto ETFs and Derivatives

Although it may still be a long wait to see a crypto ETF in action, it is not too early to think about the potential impact on the industry. Will the launch of a crypto ETF pave the way to a golden age or will it become reminiscent of the old Yiddish curse, “May you get what you wish for”? Let’s imagine the potential outcomes.

The ‘Good’ of Crypto Derivatives

If we consider the view that the crypto industry’s lack of regulated custodianship services and investment products is keeping institutional investors such as major banks from investing in crypto, it is not illogical to hope for a flood of new capital once this obstacle has been removed.

The launch of a Crypto ETF and even the NYSE’s launch of the Bakkt exchange, will decrease counterparty risk, improve liquidity, provide easy on and off ramps, so putting the industry in a much more robust position to cater for institutional investors. Having trusted exchanges in place will also clamp down on the price manipulation we have seen around Bitcoin futures contracts, and could even settle the accompanying price volatility.

In the long-term, having a crypto ETF in place could be expected to make a hugely positive contribution to the financial element, the price, of Bitcoin.

The ‘Bad’ of Crypto Derivatives

The first problematic aspect of crypto derivatives such as ETFs and Futures contracts is the question of whether these will represent actual cryptocurrency holdings. In cases where a derivative merely tracks an index or a basket of cryptos according to price without buying the underlying assets (such as with CFD’s), capital inflows seem improbable.

A second, and even more problematic aspect, is the focus on short-term trades instead of long-term investment.

Crypto ETF news headlines have fueled an enormous amount of price speculation, as can be seen from the significant market drop-offs following previous SEC delays and disapprovals. It’s clear that a large proportion of the market is currently held by day traders and speculators who are motivated by short-term profit with little or no interest in contributing to the development of the crypto industry.

While I’m pretty sure no crypto advocate will scorn a bull market, those who are involved in building on and developing the technology know that we’re only scratching the surface of blockchain’s possible applications at this point. The current bitcoin price, in comparison, is probably the least enticing aspect. In actual fact, Bitcoin is a slice of technological infrastructure that just so happens to have a tokenised monetary system attached to it. The monetary aspect is not the be-all and end-all of its utility.

The crypto ETF obsession risks diverting our attention away from uncovering and unleashing blockchain technology’s untapped potential, instead bolstering the speculative mania of #whenmoon #whenlambo.

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The ‘Ugly’ of Crypto Derivatives

In the early stages of crypto derivatives and the run-up to the launch of the first crypto ETF, many unanswered questions and lingering concerns remain. Certain risks deserve serious consideration as there is no going back once Pandora’s box has been opened.

For a start, traditional financial markets, derivatives (more specifically, the institutions that sell them) have gained a track record for causing chaos despite the regulatory measures that are in place. Future markets, in particular, are vulnerable to manipulation by big institutions. In November 2017, Credit Suisse’s foreign exchange business was fined $135 million for market manipulation. In December of 2016, regulators ordered Goldman Sachs to pay a civil penalty of $120 million to settle charges of manipulating a global dollar benchmark. And in 2013, an Italian regulator fined the world’s biggest money manager, BlackRock 150,000 Euros ($204,600) for market manipulation.

Apart from the risk of outright market manipulation, crypto derivatives could also be implemented in a way that undermines Bitcoin’s primary economic principles. Bitstocks’ CEO and Founder, Michael Hudson’s places primary on the social and personal value of the Bitcoin economy, illustrating what we’ve got to lose:

“Humans innately do not trust the system, because everything is registered to a centralised database — i.e., the world’s governments — and we do not have full ownership because items like our cars or our houses can be taken away from us. In contrast, with the use of blockchain, we own what we own — no questions asked. Bitcoin’s byproduct is sovereignty over what you acquire.”

In the case of crypto ETFs, in contrast, holders merely own a promissory note. The institution’s actual crypto holdings remain opaque, and investors simply have to ‘trust’ that their promissory note is backed up by the underlying asset at the agreed-upon rate.

In effect, the situation negates the ‘trustless’ element of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. It also opens the door for institutions to issue more promissory notes than reflected by assets under management, which would corrode the value of assets in circulation by increasing the supply with ‘magic money’. And just like that, we’d be saying farewell to Bitcoin’s deflationary monetary model and hello to the old Fractional-Reserve Banking system.

‍The Long-Term Fate of Crypto

As a company that supports the long-term vision of Bitcoin to maintain an inclusive, uncensored, permissionless network, we firmly believe that the long-term fate of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency will not be decided by the approval or rejection of an ETF. The determining factors will be the utility and usability that results from the application of blockchain technology.

We, therefore, discourage trading activity according to speculative events like the potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF and stress the characteristics of Bitcoin that makes it a long-term safe haven asset and technology that just happens to have a price feed.

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SEC Filing for Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin ETF Withdrawn

SEC Filing for Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin ETF Withdrawn

Cboe BZX Exchange has withdrawn its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF. The U.S. government is currently shut down and the ETF could have been automatically approved had it not been withdrawn. Vaneck says that the withdrawal is temporary as it is actively working to “build appropriate market structure frameworks for a bitcoin ETF.”

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Bitcoin ETF Filing Withdrawn

The SEC announced on Wednesday that Cboe BZX Exchange Inc. has withdrawn its proposed rule change to list and trade shares issued by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust.
The proposed rule change for the bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) was published in the Federal Register on July 2 last year. On Sept. 20, the commission instituted proceedings to determine whether to approve this proposed rule change. On Dec. 6, it designated Feb. 27 as the date to make its decision.

SEC Filing for Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin ETF Withdrawn

Gabor Gurbacs, Vaneck’s Director of Digital Asset Strategy, tweeted: “The bitcoin ETF filing has been temporarily withdrawn. We are actively working with regulators and major market participants to build appropriate market structure frameworks for a bitcoin ETF and digital assets in general. Will keep you updated.”

Vaneck CEO Jan van Eck clarified the situation to CNBC:

The SEC is affected by the shutdown. So, we were engaged in discussions with the SEC about the bitcoin-related issues — custody, market manipulation, prices. And, that has to stop … We had the application pulled and we will refile and re-engage in the discussions when the SEC gets going again.

No Automatic Approval

The deadline for the SEC to make its decision on the Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF was Feb. 27. If no decision was made by that date, which was possible since the U.S. government is currently shut down, the ETF would be automatically approved. However, securities lawyer Jake Chervinsky recently explained that it was extremely unlikely since the SEC would likely have measures in place to avoid missing this type of deadline.

SEC Filing for Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin ETF Withdrawn

Furthermore, Chervinsky pointed out that even if the ETF is automatically approved, it can easily be undone after the shutdown is over. He tweeted in response to Cboe’s withdrawal decision:

[The] withdrawal implies that they expected denial & didn’t want another SEC order setting bad precedent for the future … There will be no bitcoin ETF in Q1 2019.

What do you think of Cboe’s decision to withdraw the bitcoin ETF filing with the SEC? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF

nysegirl 768x768 - Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF

Bitwise Asset Management is the latest American financial firm to seek regulatory permission for launching a bitcoin ETF. The company thinks it should succeed in getting the SEC’s approval, which all other applicants have failed to do so far, by utilizing a new model for the instrument.

Also Read: UK Crypto Ventures Raised Over $255 Million VC Funding in 2018

Bitwise Bitcoin ETF Trust

Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETFBitwise Asset Management, a provider of a number of crypto index funds, announced on Thursday, Jan. 10 that it has filed an initial registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed new physically held BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF). The company believes its proposed ETF is different from previously filed proposals in that it will rely on regulated third party custodians to hold its physical coins, and in that it is based on a large number of cryptocurrency exchanges representing the majority of currently verifiable trading.

The company is said to have spent 2018 researching the concerns the SEC raised about the crypto market including the quality of the trading ecosystem, the reliability of pricing, the strength of the arbitrage function, and the robustness of custody. “We believe the crypto trading ecosystem has evolved in significant ways in the past year,” stated John Hyland, Global Head of Exchange-Traded Funds for Bitwise. “Having a regulated bank or trust company hold physical assets of a fund has been the standard under U.S. fund regulation for the last 80 years, and we believe that is now possible with bitcoin.”

An ETF Will Trade on NYSE Arca in 2019

Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETFAccording to Bitwise, the proposed listing exchange, NYSE Arca, Inc. (NYSE), will file an application to list shares of the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF under a ticker symbol that will be determined at a later date. The company expects the NYSE to file a so-called Rule 19b-4 request with the SEC in the coming days requesting necessary rule changes in order to allow the ETF to list once the registration statement is declared effective by the SEC.

“While there can be no assurance that the 19b-4 application will be granted or the SEC will review and ultimately accelerate the registration statement, we are optimistic that 2019 should be the year that a bitcoin ETF launches,” said Hyland.

As news.Bitcoin.com recently reported, while companies have been struggling to gain the SEC’s approval so far, fund providers are now arguing there is sufficient market liquidity for such an ETF to be launched in 2019.

Is the SEC likely to approve this new ETF? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com.

The post Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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