Bitcoin price holds steady despite SEC knockback on ETFs
The price of Bitcoin is little moved despite a decision late on Wednesday by the US regulator not to allow rule changes that would have allowed the creation of Bitcoin exchange traded funds. The proposals from investment firms Direxion and ProShares would have been the first opportunity for Wall Street investors to get “synthetic” exposure to cryptocurrency assets in a regulated environment. The primary reason given for denying the changes was to ensure that no means were being provided for “fraudulent or manipulative acts and practices” largely because of concern about the size of the market. At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $6425.
Football scores cryptocurrency goal
British Premier league side Newcastle United have a struck a sponsorship deal with cryptocurrency trading platform eToro. They are now one of seven clubs to sign an agreement which will see United receive their payments through Bitcoin. eToro has been advertising on hoardings at a host of top-flight grounds already this season, including St James’ Park. The firm’s UK managing director has even voiced his ambitious vision for transfer dealings to one day be paid in cryptocurrency. Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Cardiff City, and Brighton and Hove Albion have joined Newcastle in accepting digital wallets on the online trading platform, through which they will be paid in Bitcoin. Premier League clubs have also been investigating using the Bitcoin system itself to see if it can be used to tackle ticket touting.
Winklevoss twins create cryptocurrency self-regulator
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the cryptocurrency millionaire twins best known for suing Mark Zuckerberg over the creation of Facebook, have launched a self-regulation body for the cryptocurrency industry. The Virtual Commodity Association, an industry group led by the Winklevosses’ own online cryptocurrency exchange, said it planned to “promote fairness, transparency, risk management, and liquidity” in the sector. The twins hope that the move will curry favour with industry regulators, having twice been thwarted in their attempts to launch a tradeable fund pegged to the price of Bitcoin. Four of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, the websites where the currencies are traded, have signed up to the body. The group has come together in the absence of any clear regulation for cryptocurrencies, and the asset is seen as occupying a legal grey area. British cryptocurrency exchanges set up an industry body, CryptoUK, earlier this year.
The World Bank prepares for the world’s first blockchain bond
The World Bank mandates Commonwealth Bank of Australia to arrange the first ever blockchain bond. The Kangaroo bond, referring to foreign bonds issued in Australia in the local currency, has been named bond-i, an acronym standing for Blockchain Offered New Debt Instrument. (It’s also a reference to Bondi Beach, an iconic spot in Sydney.) According to the institution, the bond will be the first in the world to be created, allocated, transferred and managed with blockchain technology. That tech, which underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, refers to the distributed ledger technology that securely records all transactions made on the chain. When launched, the bond will be both issued and distributed on a blockchain platform operated by the World Bank and CBA. A private Ethereum-based blockchain is in use for the project as it has the necessary capabilities, but CBA said that it was open to other options in the future as the space develops. The World Bank, meanwhile, said investor interest in the bond has thus far been strong. Together with CBA, it intends to launch the transaction after wider consultation with more investors.