US Crypto Exchange Launches Spot Trading for Institutional Investors

Chicago-based, licensed crypto exchange Seed CX has launched spot trading for institutional investors, according to an official press release published on Wednesday, Jan. 23.

Spot trading is the purchase or sale of a currency, financial instrument or commodity for immediate delivery. Spot contracts can include the physical delivery of the the instrument, commodity or currency.

Per the announcement, Seed CX has introduced spot trading for the Bitcoin (BTC) to U.S. dollar pair, while Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) pairs will be added later this month. Furthermore, Seed CX is planning to expand its fiat pairs to the euro and Japanese yen later in Q1 2019.

Additionally, the company announced it will offer a market for digital asset derivatives regulated by the United States Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

The U.S. exchange also claims to use a model with zero fees to deposit and withdraw fiat or digital assets. All dollar deposits are reportedly held in regulated U.S. banks and protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Edward Woodford, co-founder and CEO of Seed CX, claims that the exchange has already received positive feedback on the feature from its customers and expects to attract institutional investment.

Earlier this month Seed CX launched a digital asset wallet solution with on-chain settlement for institutional investors. The project was developed together with its settlement subsidiary, Zero Hash — a crypto and fiat currency custodian providing on-chain settlement services that reportedly has FinCEN’s regulatory approval to operate as a money transmitter in 25 states.

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CBOE Withdraws Rule Change Request to List Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund

The Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) BZX Equity Exchange has apparently withdrawn its request for a rule change by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to an official notice published on Jan. 23, BZX withdrew a proposed rule change that would allow it to list a Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF).

ETFs are securities that track a basket of assets proportionately represented in the fund’s shares. They are seen by some as a potential step forward for the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies as a regulated and passive investment instrument.

The ETF under consideration was backed by investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX. The proposal, which was first filed with the SEC back in June 2018, experienced several delays, as the U.S. financial watchdog postponed its decision on the rule change pursuant to Section 19 of the Securities Exchange Act. A final deadline for the decision was set for Feb. 27.

A CBOE spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the decision to withdraw its request was a result of the U.S. government shutdown as the end of the review period approaches. Some legal experts have noted that the SEC will be operating on a limited basis due the shutdown, which is the result of a political impasse over a proposed wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. According to the spokesperson, CBOE plans to re-submit a filing at a later date.

As per an SEC filing, the price of each share of the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust is set to $200,000. SolidX CEO Daniel H. Gallancy said that the high price reflects the fund’s intention to focus on institutional, rather than retail investors.

Some experts have expressed doubt over the future of a Bitcoin ETF. Last week, crypto entrepreneur and regular CNBC contributor Brian Kelly said that there is “no shot” for Bitcoin ETF approval in 2019.

Kelly said that the SEC is unlikely to change from its sceptical position toward crypto ETFs, as “there is too much that is unresolved.” According to the analyst, it will take more than a year to settle existing issues.

SEC commissioner Hester Peirce — dubbed “Crypto Mom” for her dissent with the commission’s decision to reject a Bitcoin ETF proposed the Winklevoss twins — said that a Bitcoin ETF is “definitely possible,” but it could take a while:

“Definitely possible could be 20 years from now or it could be tomorrow. Don’t hold your breath. The SEC took a long time to [establish] Finhub. It might take even longer to approve an exchange traded product.”

The story is developing and will be updated with further details.

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Enterprise Blockchain Platform Records 10K Transactions per Second in Testnet Launch

Enterprise blockchain platform Insolar (INS) has successfully launched its testnet on Jan. 22, recording over 10,000 transactions per second (TPS), according to data from its block explorer Insolar Explorer.

As the company announced on Sunday, Insolar set up its private testnet launch in order to prove its scalability and speed, with the goal to reach at least 10,000 TPS.

The original Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain is able to process about 7 TPS, while the network of another major coin Ethereum (ETH) can process 20 TPS, as recently reported by Cointelegraph. Ripple (XRP), the second biggest crypto by market cap, “consistently handles” 1,500 TPS, but can purportedly scale up to 50,000 TPS.

In the recent testnet announcement, Insolar has also set the release date for its technical white paper for Jan. 30.

Insolar notes that its node operating system differs significantly from other systems, claiming that a certain node does not both compute and validatie transactions simultaneously, which ensures maximum speed and scalability of the Insolar blockchain. The firm states:

“On Insolar, each smart contract is delegated to a single ‘Executor’ node. After it processes a transaction, a few other nodes (called Validators) confirm it. As a result, the throughput capacity increases almost linearly with the addition of each new node, since with each of them, more smart-contracts (for transaction processing) can be delegated to more nodes.”

While the Insolar blockchain explorer shows a TPS max of 10,229, at press time the network is recording 73 TPS.

In 2017, Insolar announced a project to decentralize the grocery industry which would purportedly make grocery shopping cheaper and more secure by cutting out middlemen. The company reportedly signed deals with major global grocery manufacturers such as Unilever .

The blockchain scalability problem is one of the main problems plaguing the industry. Recently, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claimed that blockchain has a potential to create a borderless economy if blockchain systems simultaneously match three major properties — security, decentralization and scalability.

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Top 10 Messenger App Telegram Plans Blockchain Platform Launch in March: Sources

Global messaging app Telegram plans to release the mainnet and token for its blockchain-based Telegram Open Network (TON) platform as early as March 2019. The news was revealed to Cointelegraph by a source close to Telegram founder and CEO Pavel Durov today, Jan. 23.

Telegram — which reportedly counts 200+ million active users per month, placing it among the top ten most popular messaging apps worldwide — raised almost $1.7 billion in two private initial coin offering (ICO) rounds last year for both Telegram and its forthcoming platform TON.

Cointelegraph’s source has emphasized that Durov was reluctant to confirm a concrete date for TON’s release and that the March estimate remains subject to change.

According to a separate report from Russian business media outlet The Bell, Durov’s team has told investors that TON is 90 percent ready, but that delays are possible, due to the “innovative nature of the development.”

As reported, details released so far have suggested that TON will aim to function as “new way of exchanging data,” and will be powered by the platform’s native cryptocurrency, dubbed “Gram.”

As reported in May, 2018, the staggering success of Telegram’s pre-sales prompted the company to subsequently decide to cancel a public ICO that had been slated for later in 2018.

Despite rumors that the Russian billionaire and former owner of Chelsea FC Roman Abramovich backed the project, only two entrepreneurs — co-founder of payment service Qiwi, Sergei Solonin, and co-founder of dairy giant Wimm-Bill-Dann, David Yakobashvili — have publicly confirmed their investments to date.

Following news that TON was “70 percent ready” last October, the government of Iran stepped up its restrictions on the messaging app, declaring that any cooperation with the app to launch its Gram token would be considered an act against national security and a disruption to the national economy. Iran has enforced a spate of bans against Telegram since April 2018.

The app has also notably been blocked in Russia — Durov’s birthplace — since April 2018, officially due to Durov’s refusal to share the app’s encryption keys with authorities in compliance with a local telecoms law. According to data at the time of the block, around 10 million of Telegram’s users are based in Russia.

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Bitcoin Approaches $3,600 Again as Top Cryptocurrencies See Gains

Wednesday, Jan. 23 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are seeing slight to substantial growth on the day to press time. Bitcoin (BTC) is hovering near $3,600 again, according to Coin360 data.

Market visualization

Market visualization from Coin360

At press time, Bitcoin is up just over 1 percent on the day, trading at around $3,603. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is just slightly lower than $3,658, the price at which Bitcoin started the week. On the month, the leading cryptocurrency is down about 10 percent from just over $4,000.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple (XRP) is up under half of a percent on the day, trading at around $0.317 at press time. On the weekly chart, the current price is lower than $0.33, the price at which XRP started the week — and down from $0.333, the midweek high reported on Jan. 19.

Ripple 7-day price chart

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Second largest altcoin Ethereum (ETH) has seen its value increase by a little over 1.5 percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading at $118, having started the day about one dollar lower. On the weekly chart, Ethereum’s current value is lower than $124, the price at which the coin started the week.

Ethereum 7-day chart

Ethereum 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the top 25 cryptocurrencies, the ones experiencing the most notable growth are Waves (WAVES), which is up over 22 percent, and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), which is up over 7 percent on the day to press time.

The combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies — currently equivalent to about $120.6 billion — is lower than $122.3, the value it reported one week ago. Furthermore, the total market cap has grown by over a billion dollars in the 24 hours to press time, having started the day at about $119.1.

Total crypto market cap 7-day chart

Total crypto market cap 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Bitcoin is nearly oversold and may be gearing up for a short-term rally, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

Also, news recently broke that Adena Friedman, president and CEO of Nasdaq Inc., said that cryptocurrency “deserves an opportunity to find a sustainable future in our economy.”

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Poll: 63 Percent of Senior Execs Lack Understanding of Blockchain Tech

In a survey of institutional investors by the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), 63 percent of respondents believe that senior business executives have a poor understanding of blockchain technology. Cointelegraph acquired a copy of the study on Jan. 22.

In December and January the market research company PollRight interviewed 71 institutional investors, including private equity, hedge funds and pension funds on behalf of GBBC — a trading association for the blockchain ecosystem.

While most respondents believe that senior business executives do not understand blockchain, 30 percent consider their knowledge of the emerging technology as “average.” The remaining 7 percent described senior executive understanding of blockchain as “good.”

Moreover, 76 percent of respondents claimed they do not feel that senior business executives at large firms are committed to blockchain, but expect global expenditures on blockchain technology to increase by 108 percent in 2019.

33 percent of respondents believe that in two years, the application of blockchain in financial services and banking will dramatically increase. The participants of the survey also named digital identity and healthcare as fields which will be significantly impacted by blockchain technology.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, some high-profile crypto bulls expect institutional demand for cryptocurrencies to drive the industry forward in 2019. In October Mike Novogratz, an ex-Goldman Sachs partner and founder of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital, said that institutional demand will bring Bitcoin (BTC) to new highs in Q1 or Q2 2019.

However, last month Bloomberg reported that major Wall Street institutions were delaying plans to enter the crypto space, as the values of major cryptocurrencies continue to fall into the new year. Insiders told Bloomberg that Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup gave up their crypto plans until a time when demand is higher.

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London Stock Exchange Trading Tech to Power New Hong Kong Crypto Exchange

LSEG Technology, the technology solutions provider for the London Stock Exchange Group, has announced that its matching engine will be used to power a new Hong Kong-based digital assets exchange. The news was announced in an LSEG Technology press release Jan. 22.

The forthcoming digital assets exchange — dubbed AAX — comes from blockchain and crypto-focused fintech firm ATOM Group. The platform will reportedly become the first digital assets exchange to use LSEG Technology’s so-dubbed “Millennium Exchange,” which is a low latency and scalable matching engine already reportedly in use at traditional exchanges such as LSE, Borsa Italiana, the Oslo Stock Exchange, and others.

AAX — which is slated for launch in the first quarter of this year — will reportedly use the LSEG matching engine to form the basis of its core trading platform. Speaking of the deal, ATOM Group CEO Peter Lin said the technology would help deliver “greater levels of fairness, transparency, and performance” for crypto traders.

The licensing deal between a stalwart mainstream market solutions provider and an emergent disruptive platform apparently aims to mitigate concerns over security, market manipulation, and high-volume performance in the crypto industry.

In the Hong Kong context, there have been recent indications from the local securities regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), that a legal framework to regulate crypto exchanges is under consideration, with the SFC chairman stating last October:

“We need to see if and how these [digital assets trading] platforms can be regulated to a standard that is comparable to that of a licensed trading venue, while at the same time ensuring investors[‘] interest[s] are being protected.”

In November, the SFC released details of its evolving proposed conduct regulation for crypto exchanges, alongside guidelines for funds dealing with cryptocurrency. As Hong Kong’s formal crypto regulatory environment continues to take shape, some local lawyers have warned that new regulations may prove cumbersome or even harmful for new entrants to the crypto industry.

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JP Morgan-Backed Firm Partners with Blockchain Startup Owned By Former Deloitte Exec

JP Morgan-backed digital services firm Smartrac has partnered with SUKU Ecosystem, a blockchain startup owned by former Deloitte exec Eric Piscini, according to a tweet on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

SUKU, which is parented by another Piscini-owned blockchain firm Citizen Reserve, will provide its platform to integrate with Smartrac’s supply chain. Smartrac is a radio-frequency identification (RFID) inlay manufacturer. Based on the public Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, Citizens Reserve’s platform is operating its own cryptocurrency, ZERV, which was developed on an ERC20 token.

Piscini, CEO at both SUKU and Citizen, said that the new partnership aims to resolve major problems related to supply chain digitization. Per Piscini the new blockchain integration will improve tracking, security, and transparency across the supply chain. Dinesh Dhamija, CTO of Citizens Reserve, said:

“The combination of Smartrac’s digital enablement capabilities along with Citizen’s Reserves’ SUKU platform will provide a unique identity for each physical product with a transparent and accessible supply chain solution.”

Netherlands-based Smartrac specializes in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, and is reportedly the world’s largest supplier of electronic passports inlays. In July 2018, global e-commerce giant Alibaba Group acquired shares in Smartrac, while JP Morgan reportedly remained the largest shareholder.

Deloitte, a Big Four audit and consulting firm, recently included blockchain technology in its Tech Trends 2019 report, stressing its disruptive nature and outlining blockchain as “the unsung hero of our digital future.”

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NYSE Operator’s Long-Awaited Crypto Platform Bakkt Announces New Key Vacancies

Bakkt, the cryptocurrency platform created by the operator of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), announced that they are hiring for a number of high-up positions in a tweet Jan. 22.

The Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) much-awaited crypto platform published a list of eight evidently new vacancies at the company, all of which are based in Atlanta and New York City. Some of the positions also have Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Francisco, London, Tel Aviv and Singapore listed as available locations.

The page specifies that the company is mostly trying to hire a number of developers, mostly at director and senior levels.

In particular, Bakkt is looking to hire a director of blockchain engineering, a blockchain developer, a director of security engineering, a senior full stack engineer, a mobile developer and a software development engineer in test. Also, the company is looking for a director of finance and at least one institutional sales member.

As Cointelegraph reported on the last day of December 2018, the ICE announced that it “expects to provide an updated launch timeline in early 2019 for the trading, clearing and warehousing” of its Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures Contracts.

On the same day, news broke that the platform had completed its first funding round, raising $182.5 million from 12 partners and investors.

In November, ex-Goldman Sachs partner and founder of crypto investment firm Galaxy Digital, Mike Novogratz, cited Bakkt’s pending launch as a possible catalyst for the crypto market’s next major price action.

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Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, TRON, Bitcoin SV, Cardano: Price Analysis, Jan. 21

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

Marcus Hughes, the United Kingdom lead counsel for major United States crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase, expects huge developments for Bitcoin (BTC) in the next two years.

Hughes is confident about the European Union coming up with a more defined regulatory framework for crypto in 2019. After the regulations are in place, Hughes anticipates large investment banks to finally enter the scene.

U.K.-based investor and entrepreneur Alistair Milne is confident that Bitcoin will break out of its lifetime high and sustain above it. He has based his opinion on the anticipated increase of the level of adoption of the leading cryptocurrency. Milne is certain that Bitcoin will survive for another 100 years.

Similar to how prices tend to overshoot to the upside during a bull market, they also usually overshoot to the downside. Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, believes that a lot of development has taken place in the crypto space, implying that cryptocurrencies are currently undervalued.

So should the traders start buying? Let’s find out.  


Bitcoin (BTC) has been trading below the moving averages since Jan. 10. Attempts by the bulls to push the price higher have been met with selling at the moving averages. This is a bearish sign.

The cryptocurrency hasn’t been able to make a higher high and a higher low, a signal that we were watching out for. A set of higher highs and higher lows would indicate a probable change in trend.


If the bears force the price below $3,236.09, it will be a new lower low that would confirm the continuation of the downtrend.

The first sign of a probable change in trend will be when the BTC/USD pair breaks out of the downtrend line and sustains above it. The recovery will gain strength if the bulls scale above $4,255. Until then, every rise to the resistance levels will be sold into.

We might suggest long positions closer to $3,236.09 if the price rebounds sharply from the support, because that would indicate a strong demand at lower levels. Another probable trade can be taken on a breakout above $4,255. Until then, we suggest traders remain in a wait and see mode.


Ripple (XRP) has been trading in a tight range since Jan. 11. This is unlikely to continue for long. We expect either a breakout or breakdown from this range within the next few days.


The downtrending moving averages and the RSI in the negative area suggest that sellers are at an advantage. If the bears force a breakdown below the range, the XRP/USD pair can drop to $0.27795.

On the other hand, if the bulls push the price above the moving averages and the downtrend line, the digital currency can move up to $0.4. We suggest traders wait for a bullish pattern to form before jumping in to buy.


Ethereum (ETH) plummeted below the immediate support of $116.3 on Jan. 20, but the bears could not sustain the lower levels. The bulls pulled back from the lows and closed (UTC time frame) above the support line.


If the ETH/USD pair fails to find buyers at higher levels and reverses direction, it can fall to $107.51, and if that support also breaks, a drop to $83 will be possible. The downtrending 20-day EMA, as well as the RSI in the negative territory confirm that the sellers have the upper hand in the short term.

The digital currency will show strength if it breaks out of $134.5. It can then rally to $167.32, which is likely to act as a stiff resistance.


Bitcoin Cash (BCH) has been trading in a tight range of $120–$137.26 for the past 10 days. This shows that both the buyers and the sellers have stopped actively trading it.


If the bears push the price below $120, the BCH/USD pair can plunge further to $100, and below that a retest of the lows around $73.5 will be probable. The falling moving averages, and the RSI below 40 levels suggest that the sellers have the upper hand.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency scales above both the moving averages and the $137.26 mark. We shall wait for a reliable buy setup to form before proposing a trade.


EOS is currently range bound between $2.3093 and $3.2081. The bears are attempting to break down of the range, while the bulls are trying to defend it.


On Jan. 13 and 14, the EOS/USD pair bounced off the support of the range, but the bulls could not carry it above the 20-day EMA. This is a bearish sign. Any break of the immediate support of the range, and the $2.1733 mark, can result in a fall to $1.7746, and further to $1.55.

Our bearish view will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency bounces off the support of the range and sustains above $2.5840. If that happens, a rally to the resistance of the range at $3.2081 will be possible. We might suggest long positions above $2.6.


The bulls attempted to carry Stellar (XLM) higher on Jan. 19, but could not scale the 20-day EMA. Currently, the bears are attempting to break down of the immediate support at $0.10235190.


If they are successful, a drop to the yearly low of $0.09285498 will be probable. If this level breaks down, the XLM/USD pair will resume its downtrend. Both moving averages are sloping down, and the RSI is in the negative zone, which suggests that the bears have the upper hand.

The first sign of a likely change in trend will be when the bulls succeed in pushing the price above the downtrend line of the symmetrical triangle. A confirmation of strength will be when the pair sustains above $0.13427050. We shall wait for a trend reversal before recommending a long position.


The bears are not allowing Litecoin (LTC) to sustain above the 20-day EMA, while the bulls are not allowing the price to plummet below $29.349.


If the LTC/USD pair plunges below $29.349, it could slide further to $27.701, below which a fall to the yearly lows of $23.090 will be likely. The downtrend will resume if the price breaks down to new yearly lows.

Conversely, if the bulls push the price above the 20-day EMA, the virtual currency could rally to $36.428, and beyond that to $40.784. The flat moving averages and the RSI close to 50 levels suggests a balance between the buyers and the sellers.

The next move will happen when this balance tilts in favor of either of the parties. For now, the traders who own long positions can keep a stop loss at $27.5.


Tron (TRX) has corrected to the 20-day EMA, which might act as a support. However, if the bears break below this support, a fall to $0.02113440, followed by a drop to the 50-day SMA will be probable.


The TRX/USD pair has been range bound since Aug. 8, 2018. Attempts to break out or break down of this range have been unsuccessful and the price always returned into the range.

There are two possible trade opportunities. The traders can either buy closer to $0.0183 and expect the price to reach $0.02815521, or they can buy on a close (UTC time frame) above $0.02815521.

The uptrending moving averages suggest that the bulls have the upper hand. We shall turn negative on the cryptocurrency if the price slumps and sustains below $0.0183.


Bitcoin SV (BSV) is gradually giving up ground, which shows a lack of buying support at the current levels. If the price sustains below $74.022, a drop to the next support at $65.031 will be probable.


The 20-day EMA is gradually sloping down, and the RSI is in the negative territory. This shows that the bears have an advantage in the short term. If the BSV/USD pair breaks below $65.031, it will result in liquidation of long trades. The supports on the downside are at $57, and below that at $38.528.

Our bearish view will be negated if the digital currency scales above both moving averages. We shall wait for the trend to turn positive before recommending any trades.


Cardano (ADA) is currently trading inside an ascending channel. Usually, the price oscillates between the support and the resistance line of the channel. It reached the resistance line of the channel on Jan. 10, from where it turned down, and is now likely to fall down to the support line of the channel.


Having broken below the 20-day EMA, the ADA/USD pair might find support at the 50-day SMA. If this support breaks, the buyers might step in at the support line of the channel.

Our expectation of a drop to the support line of the channel will be invalidated if the cryptocurrency turns around from the current levels and breaks out of the 20-day EMA.

We couldn’t find any reliable buy setups at the current levels. The flat moving averages, and the RSI close to the midpoint suggest a consolidation in the near term. Because of these factors, we remain neutral on the pair.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

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