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Word on the Street: A week of extremes

Neither the majors nor the alts could catch a break this week despite a flow of positive news.

SEC delays Van Eck SolidX Bitcoin ETF decision until Sept (med-high impact)

With so much hope for crypto adoption riding on a bitcoin ETF this may have pinched some nerves. The decisive date was pushed back a month to consider the rule change that would pave the way for the first official crypto exchange traded fund.

There have been over 100 considerations on the matter submitted since July and the SEC is taking into account all those views in its verdict.

Goldman Sachs could open crypto custodial service (low impact)

Despite the seismic impact this would have for bitcoin and major cryptos if it transpires, there was no evidence of it effecting prices this week. The story emanating from unnamed sources talking to Bloomberg on Monday claims that talks are ongoing to roll out custody services for clients and funds wanting exposure to crypto but no deadline has been set.

Goldman CEO Llyod Blankfein has been more humble than most bank CEOs when it comes to evaluating bitcoin, saying it would be arrogant to declare success or failure at this stage. He has also made the analogy between crypto and the early days of cell phones, which he said he dismissed at the time and missed out on one of the greatest tech revolutions of the past 20 years.

A far cry from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon who this week again took to calling bitcoin ‘a scam’.

Facebook’s head of blockchain quits Coinbase board (low impact)

David Marcus, Facebook’s vice president and head of blockchain announced he would resign from the board of crypto exchange Coinbase signalling a potential announcement regarding the crypto project. As BNC covered before, a Facebook utility token would potentially open up a marketplace of 2 billion people who use the platform on a regular basis.

According to reports, the social media giant has been in talks with several blockchains including Stellar. Facebook has also started showing Coinbase advertisements on its platforms, including Instagram.

Tencent and Chinese Govt complete first tax invoice on blockchain (low impact)

The Chinese government have been quite overt in their efforts to harness blockchain tech to increase monetary transparency and create a national cryptocurrency, even advertising in the country’s national papers for developers to work on a digital RMB.

Under the remit of the State Administration of Taxation one of China’s biggest online retailers and mobile payment services Tencent – the creators of 1 billion+ user social media app WeChat – facilitated a fully-auditable tax invoice from a restaurant bill in Shenzhen that is instantly available to the government tax department as soon as the purchase is made.

It further enforces the view the Chinese government is going to use blockchain tech to increase their economic surveillance while banning the use of anonymous or pseudonymous  cryptos.

Japanese Govt targets speculative crypto investing (low impact)

The Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) is looking at revising its mandate for cryptocurrencies which it brought in last year that declared crypto as legal tender in the expectation that they would be used primarily as forms of payment and not as speculative investments.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Virtual Exchange Commission, the body that governs the 16 licensed Japanese exchanges, is self-regulating the margin limits its exchanges can offer customers. Currently, crypto exchanges can offer up to a 25:1 borrowing margin for trading but this is going to be brought down to 4:1.

First House of Congress member to disclose up to $80k in crypto (low impact)

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee is set to become the first member of Congress to disclose his bitcoin holdings, Sludge reports.

According to a House memo in June, members of Congress must disclose any digital assets they hold over the value of $1000 within a 45-day window. More names are likely to emerge in the disclosures from congressmen who also sit on the Congressional Blockchain Caucus.

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This week could have ended the aspirations of many a bitcoin believer let alone an altcoiner after the benchmark currency ended Friday down 13%, in the midst of the most bullish commercial endorsement to date. The partnership between the New York Stock Exchange, Starbucks and Microsoft could not have been more promising for the future of BTC and crypto: institutional trading, custodial services, 401k funds and even retail point of sale apps. Yet despite this the divergence between interest and price continues.


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