Crypto exchange operations on the cards for Nasdaq

Crypto exchange operations on the cards for Nasdaq

Nasdaq “would consider” launching or even becoming a cryptocurrency exchange in future, according to comments made by the company’s CEO.

CEO Adena Friedman made the comments in a CNBC interview, in remarks widely construed as supportive of a future move into the blockchain space.

“Certainly Nasdaq would consider becoming a crypto exchange over time. If we do look at it and say ‘it’s time, people are ready for a more regulated market,’ for something that provides a fair experience for investors,” Friedman said. “I believe that digital currencies will continue to persist it’s just a matter of how long it will take for that space to mature. Once you look at it and say, ‘do we want to provide a regulated market for this?’ Certainly Nasdaq would consider it.”

The comments indicate Nasdaq would be receptive to becoming more heavily involved in the blockchain space. It follows from a number of ventures into the blockchain from the stock exchange. Nasdaq already supports several ETFs, or exchange traded funds, exposed to the blockchain space, including those tracking cryptocurrencies and related startups and equities.

Nasdaq also has an ongoing commercial relationship with Chain, the ledger-as-a-service startup, working on a number of collaborations that could ultimately have real-world applications for the firm.

The news that Nasdaq is open to becoming more crypto-focused in future is yet another vote of confidence in the technology, and in the developing cryptocurrency economy. Yet it comes at a time of increasing regulatory scrutiny over the sector, especially in relation to initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been visibly clamping down on ICO fraud cases in recent months, including instances of crowd token sales in contravention of securities laws.

Meanwhile, more recently, the former head of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said he regards a number of high profile cryptocurrencies as securities, within the legal definition of the Howey Test as set out by the U.S. courts. This would see Ripple’s XRP and Ethereum’s Ether flagged as securities, which raises legal questions for the respective development teams, as opposed to Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which cannot be considered a security on the same terms.

The support of Nasdaq could ultimately provide a recognised, regulated platform for ICOs in future, subject to U.S. securities laws, providing a regulated alternative to the current route to market.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Riot Blockchain comes under fire

Riot Blockchain comes under fire, faces NASDAQ delisting

Riot Blockchain jumped from biotech to blockchain in 2017, which resulted in its stock jumping, as well. Now, the company is being called to the carpet after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sent a subpoena, warning Riot that it is facing possible removal from NASDAQ for not adhering to policies.

In a public filing, Riot revealed that the securities regulator wanted to know the amount and classification of the company’s assets. The filing went on to say, “The Company believes that many companies engaged in blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses have received subpoenas from the SEC which presents an additional industry risk. The existence of an investigation of the Company specifically and the industry generally could have a materially adverse effect on the Company, its business or operations, and the industry as a whole.”

Later in the filing, Riot addressed the issue of possibly being delisted from NASDAQ, the tech stock index. Riot mentioned that it had been given a “Notice of Delisting or Failure to Satisfy a Continued Listing Rule or Standard from NASDAQ.” In order to remain on NASDAQ, companies must conduct an annual shareholders meeting. Riot was supposed to hold the meeting prior to the end of 2017, but failed to comply. NASDAQ has now given the company an extension until May 15, but Riot announced in the filing that it doesn’t believe it will be able to meet the deadline, stating, “There is no assurance that we will be able to garner a quorum for the reconvened meeting. If no shareholders meeting is then held, we will likely be delisted from NASDAQ.”

Riot was previously a diagnostic equipment maker for the biotech industry. When it announced last year that it was getting into blockchain, its stock shot up and more than doubled. Now, as a result of the two announcements, it’s down again. The price fell 5% on Wednesday to $6.91, marking an 85% freefall from the company’s high of $46.20 last December.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

Other brokers remain mum over Bitcoin futures despite CME and Cboe Move

As the bitcoin futures race progresses, will other firms make a U-turn on cryptocurrency futures trading?

Despite the ruckus created by what is seen as Wall Street’s effort to keep up with the cryptocurrency boom, other brokers are staying on the safe side—at least for now.  So far, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe), and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) are leading the bitcoin futures race.

A futures contract protects a holder from the risks of a possible loss by “freezing” the value of assets to an agreed amount in an agreed span of time. It also means any possible profit beyond this agreed value is awarded to the other party—in this case the brokerage firm, which assumes the risk of potential losses in exchange for this potential profit.

But due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, several brokerage firms remain adamant in adding them to their futures trading platforms. This was the case with CME a few months ago before finally “giving in to client demand.” Back then, CME Group president Bryan Durkin said they had no plans of adding BTC to its futures trading, saying “I really feel that bitcoin is very nascent right now.” He added in an interview on Bloomberg Television: “I really don’t see us going forward with a futures contract in the very near future.” They have made a complete U-turn on their stance since and will be launching their bitcoin futures contracts on December 18. Cboe says they will follow shortly before the year ends.

JP Morgan, whose CEO Jamie Dimon went on a series of infamous tirades against bitcoin earlier (and said he would fire any of their traders if they are caught trading bitcoin), has also gone on reverse and now says they are considering BTC futures trading—even going so far as to say that Bitcoin may be the new gold.

While these companies are now in on the trend, the rest remain on the safe side. Ally Invest held a wait-and-see strategy, with president Rich Hagen saying they will offer the product immediately when CME does. Fidelity, on the other hand, said they currently have no plans to offer it, while others—like Charles Schwab Corp and Bank of America Corp. declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

It can be noted that some have expressed complete opposition to bitcoin futures trading. Interactive Brokers chairman Thomas Peterffy said last month that bitcoin futures can “destabilize the real economy,” in an open letter to addressed to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.

Other brokers remain mum over Bitcoin futures despite CME and Cboe Move

As the bitcoin futures race progresses, will other firms make a U-turn on cryptocurrency futures trading?

Despite the ruckus created by what is seen as Wall Street’s effort to keep up with the cryptocurrency boom, other brokers are staying on the safe side—at least for now.  So far, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe), and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) are leading the bitcoin futures race.

A futures contract protects a holder from the risks of a possible loss by “freezing” the value of assets to an agreed amount in an agreed span of time. It also means any possible profit beyond this agreed value is awarded to the other party—in this case the brokerage firm, which assumes the risk of potential losses in exchange for this potential profit.

But due to the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, several brokerage firms remain adamant in adding them to their futures trading platforms. This was the case with CME a few months ago before finally “giving in to client demand.” Back then, CME Group president Bryan Durkin said they had no plans of adding BTC to its futures trading, saying “I really feel that bitcoin is very nascent right now.” He added in an interview on Bloomberg Television: “I really don’t see us going forward with a futures contract in the very near future.” They have made a complete U-turn on their stance since and will be launching their bitcoin futures contracts on December 18. Cboe says they will follow shortly before the year ends.

JP Morgan, whose CEO Jamie Dimon went on a series of infamous tirades against bitcoin earlier (and said he would fire any of their traders if they are caught trading bitcoin), has also gone on reverse and now says they are considering BTC futures trading—even going so far as to say that Bitcoin may be the new gold.

While these companies are now in on the trend, the rest remain on the safe side. Ally Invest held a wait-and-see strategy, with president Rich Hagen saying they will offer the product immediately when CME does. Fidelity, on the other hand, said they currently have no plans to offer it, while others—like Charles Schwab Corp and Bank of America Corp. declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

It can be noted that some have expressed complete opposition to bitcoin futures trading. Interactive Brokers chairman Thomas Peterffy said last month that bitcoin futures can “destabilize the real economy,” in an open letter to addressed to Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.

Note: Tokens in the SegWit chain are referred to as SegWit1X (BTC) and SegWit Gold (SWG) and are no longer Bitcoin. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is the only true  Bitcoin as intended by the original Satoshi white paper.  Bitcoin BCH is the only public block chain that offers safe and cheap microtransactions.