Month: November 2018

Between a gaming library and a regulated stock exchange: this is how crypto trader work

The wish is not new: regulated crypto financial products that allow a broad investor base access to Bitcoin & Co. via a securities custody account. Whether it’s a convenient order via WKN or management by a third party without having to worry about private key and wallet. Many reasons are given for purchasing regulated and centrally managed crypto products.

In order to meet this demand, many financial service providers are trying to bring products onto the market. The problem is that financial assets are only of limited use. Why this is the case and why today more than ever a “real” mutual fund is needed. Apart from the fact that the central management of crypto assets via a bank contradicts the actual Be-Your-Own-Bank-Narrativ of Bitcoin, many do not want to or cannot take over the management of their tokens themselves by direct purchase.

Institutional clients, in particular, are often tied their hands in this respect, insofar as they can only fall back on regulated financial products. For example, the alternative investment funds (AIFs) from Blockwall or Postera, which are regulated under EU law, have been created exclusively for institutional clients. The reason is simple: in order to increase the chances of admission, small investors are excluded. For this reason, so far only institutional crypto funds have managed to obtain approval from the authorities. In addition, these funds are comparatively expensive and – compared with an ETF or classic mutual fund – inflexible. Due to a lack of alternatives, some customers nevertheless accept the often suboptimally designed products.

Welcome to the world of crypto trader

What did crypto trader do when they had no access to real coffee in historically difficult times? They drank so-called Mukkefuck, i.e. inferior substitute coffee. The situation is similar with crypto trader. Since no ETF has yet been created and there is no actively managed public crypto fund from a Deka, DWS or Union Investment, less sophisticated crypto financial products are issued by less established financial institutions.

Instead, the private investor quickly stumbles across CFDs, i.e. contracts for difference, which are aggressively advertised by the relevant providers via banner advertising. This may be interesting for the loss-proven daytrader, but not for the average investor, who simply wants to put some money into Bitcoin & Co.

ETP, ETN etc.

Furthermore, so-called ETNs, i.e. Exchange Traded Notes, which represent Bitcoin, have been around for quite some time. In contrast to ETFs, however, these ETNs are legally designed as debt securities. This means that the underlying assets do not have to be acquired physically, nor do they offer extra investor protection as special assets. New this week is the Amun Krypto Basket Index in the form of a generally held ETP. ETP is only the generic term for exchange-traded index fund constructions such as ETN, ETC, ETF, etc. ETPs are not the only ETPs.

As laudable as it is that regulated stock exchange products are designed by hook or by crook, one must nevertheless state that these products only reach a very small circle of investors. Too unclear is their structure, too little investor protection. Pubertal nuances such as the company name under the ticker symbol HODL do not make the investment offer any rounder either. On the contrary: as a serious investor, you don’t want to feel like you’re in a game library at the main station. The subject of investment still has a serious character in 2018.

Cryptosoft 2020 – Two ideologies meet each other

How much of the backend of financial applications should be based on the blockchain – so the question that determined a small dispute at the Money2020 conference. This dispute also points to a great need for discussion on this issue.

Despite broad agreement on the principle of blockchain applicability in the cryptosoft industry, splits occurred

Emmanuel Aidoo of Credit Suisse challenged Yolanda Goettsch of Nasdaq by postulating that cryptosoft could address the inefficient sides of the stock markets. Goettsch himself argued that the market is already “very liquid” and “very stable” – in contrast to Judd Bagley, head of tØ, an Overstock subsidiary.

According to Goettsch, it would not be enough for cryptosoft to reduce the settlement time to ten minutes – which is feasible according to tØ. Although such an improvement is certainly noteworthy and desirable in the long term, it would not compensate for the effort involved in converting all processes.

“If you have to pre-verify the existence of values and money, that changes everything. That’s not how the markets work at the moment. The processing time may be long, but it is currently being used to guarantee that all regulatory processes have been implemented and that all market players have been taken along.

On the other hand, Bagley replied that the new technology would do well to remove unnecessary players from the market. This argument was put forward somewhat polemically because he suspected a certain bias among financial institutions.

“Yes, many people will lose their jobs in technological change. But here we are talking about the people who are slowly becoming part of Wall Street’s inventory. tØ is located in Utah, far away from Wall Street – so we don’t care much about historical things. We’d rather burn down and then rebuild.”

Bagley then got lost in the statement that with the Blockchain events like the Flash Crash of 2010 would have been impossible.

Aidoo was the moderator of this debate

In his opinion, the adaptation of the blockchain in financial markets will be gradual and will first ensure that trades are completed on the same day and not three days later. Some stakeholders like the high frequency traders are already working on blockchain pilot projects. Credit Suisse itself is investigating how to strike a balance between the challenges of implementing the blockchain and the benefits.

Aidoo himself believes that the blockchain leads to a rethink of the existing processes and expressed this somewhat polemically:

“We can start by deleting words like clearing from our vocabulary.”

Stumbling blocks on the way
Later, Jacob Farber of R3 explained how the debated problems had so far ensured that there was hardly any cooperation between open source blockchain startups and traditional financial companies.

With his comment Jacob Farber has also described the role of R3 as evangelist for the blockchain. For example, R3 provided large banks with a sandbox for testing the new technology using the examples Ethereum and Ripple.

There was a great deal of agreement in all discussions on one thing: that there are inefficient sides to the current financial system and that interest in the blockchain can help to find solutions here.

Scott Robinson, the Fintech director of Plug and Play, explained how the Blockchain is attracting more and more interest from large companies:

“Three years ago, I talked to some Exxon Mobil executives. And a year ago they started looking at the blockchain.”

Ethereum: Reasons for the Bitcoin secret

The Ethereum price has risen by more than 500% since the beginning of the year. Here are some possible reasons for the rapid rise:

What are the reasons for the Bitcoin secret and the Ethereum price?

Ethereum and the Bitcoin secret, the crypto token of the Ethereum platform, has gained enormous popularity in the digital currency industry in recent weeks. Not least because the value of the digital currency and the Bitcoin secret has increased by more than 500% since January. In January, an ETH was worth just 0.00212 BTC. Mur 1.5 months later, the value was already 0.01101 BTC. Highest value to date: 0.0177 BTC.

Tutorial: Setting up Ethereum Wallet and receiving & managing Ethereum Coins

Investing in the future
Ethereum is one of the really valuable platforms. Many industries are currently moving in the direction of blockchain technology. Here Ethereum is very well positioned with applications such as Smart Contracts and process automation. Ethereum is perfect for such applications. With the increasing number of applications on the Ethereum platform, the demand for Ethereum will increase and so will the price.

The demand determines the price
Even though a large part of the Ethereum investment is based on the future potential of the token, others simply follow the trend. The growing demand for certain digital currencies serves as an indicator of the potential of the technology (even if it proves to be wrong). No matter why people invest in Ethereum, it drives up demand.

Faltering confidence in Bitcoin

It is rumored that the ongoing Bitcoin Blocksize debate also contributes to the Ethereum upswing. Although difficult to prove, it currently appears that the statement contains at least a spark of truth. In just 24 hours, Ethereum worth 60,000 BTC has been traded over the past few weeks. On social networks, hitherto unknown people send n´Nachrichten to people interested in Bitcoin and say Ethereum is a good alternative to Bitcoin.

This statement may be correct against the background of the investment, technologically and against the background of the goals, but both technologies pursue completely wrong. Both technologies pursue two completely different goals.

Positive headlines
Ethereum has received very positive press in recent months and weeks. In addition, many companies and organisations have announced their support for the platform.

More importantly, Ethereum is entering a new phase. The platform will probably release a new version soon. Homestead will then replace the Frontier version. This is an important step for Ethereum as the Homestead version will be much more stable than the previous beta version.

Also the availability of Etehreum Coins (ETH) will probably increase strongly. Many platforms for trading digital currencies have already announced an integration. This will increase ETH/BTC and ETH/Altcoin trading.

Augur, the Ethereum prediction platform, will also be launched soon, as will a large number of startups and companies that want to provide smart contract solutions.

Is the growth sustainable?
On 12 February, Ethereum reached a high of 0.0177 BTC and corrected shortly thereafter with a small price drop. Even if the share price may calm down a little or even fall further, it is very likely that we will see new highs in the future and the share price will continue to gain stability. So maybe we can’t talk about sustainable growth in the short term, but in the long run we can in view of market support.