What Happened in Crypto: August 3 to August 9
1. Friday, August 3: NYSE-Owner ICE to Form New Company for Digital Assets
"The exchange and clearinghouse operator said the new platform would be built using Microsoft Corp's cloud technology and work with companies including Starbucks Corp and Boston Consulting Group to enable consumers to trade, store and spend cryptocurrencies."
"ICE's cryptocurrency plans could play a significant role in helping the marketplace for the nascent asset class mature, as it continues to draw more interest from traditional financial institutions."
"ICE's new cryptocurrency platform will initially be used for trading and conversion of Bitcoin versus fiat currencies, Atlanta-based ICE said."
LongHash Take: Big news. Ownership of the New York Stock Exchange brings a lot of mainstream credibility. But plans are plans, and the crypto space is full of them; a successful launch would have a greater impact on markets. And contrary to early reports, no Bitcoin accepted at Starbucks counters yet.
2. Friday, August 3: Coinbase Announces Custody Plans for 40 Digital Assets, Including XRP
"This represents a potential opportunity for investors but also a new business line for the likes of Coinbase, which charges funds to be the custodian of their crypto assets."
LongHash Take: Coinbase remains the accessible standard bearer for crypto exchanges, and their every movement is followed closely by market participants. While custody of additional assets is separate from enabling any trading, it's a step in the right direction.
3. Tuesday, August 7: SEC Postpones Decision on Bitcoin ETF Listing to September
"The agency now has until Sept. 30 to “approve or disapprove, or institute proceedings to determine whether to disapprove” a proposed rule change from Cboe Global Markets Inc. that would allow the fund from VanEck Associates Corp. and SolidX Partners Inc. to list, the SEC said in a statement. An initial deadline was due to expire next week."
LongHash Take: The SEC appears to be punting all of its ETF-related decisions to September. Mere word of this delay pummeled crypto markets, so the U.S. regulator's upcoming decisions could be make-or-break for 2018. Grab your popcorn (or your Kleenex).
4. Tuesday, August 7: WSJ: Hundreds of Pump Groups Operating in Crypto, Victims Lose Big
"The Wall Street Journal published an article on August 5 going over the infamous and costly pump and dump groups and strategies that have been plaguing cryptocurrency for years. The Journal detected more than 105 individual groups operating through chat services like Telegram and Discord through their research. These groups have caused over $200 million worth of trade volumes through these actions. "
LongHash Take: No surprise to market veterans, but this WSJ report has "chilling effect" written all over it. When it rains...
5. Thursday, August 9: Rosen Law Firm announces securities investigation into Ripple and XRP
"As stated by CNN, the complaint read: 'Ripple’s public commitment to limit the supply of XRP had its intended effect. In the weeks that followed, the price of XRP rapidly increased, from approximately $0.22 per token on December 7, 2017 to $3.38 per token on January 7, 2018.'"
"Moreover, [California resident David Oconer] claimed that the company had complete hold over the XRP ledger and that the network is not decentralized like Bitcoin or Ethereum."
Longhash Take: Mark our words -- lawsuit and class actions will multiply in the coming months, especially if the bear market continues.