Bitcoin price LIVE: BTC has returned to $9k
8.00am MORNING HEADLINES
Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of all things cryptocurrency, including price, regulation, innovation and financial crime.
Bitcoin is priced at $9,218 a solid move north from yesterday’s lows.
There has been an unexpected rise in the trading of bitcoin futures over at the The Chicago Board Options Exchange.
Coindesk report that the CBOE saw its highest-ever volume for bitcoin futures since it first debuted the contracts back in December. The breakdown saw 18,210 contacts for the May futures traded, along with 703 for the June contract and 87 for the July contract.
CBOE Options Institute senior instructor Kevin Davitt, said: “Yesterday was the highest daily volume for bitcoin futures since their introduction here at CBOE nearly five months ago. The lead month May futures traded 18,210 contracts, and across the term structure a total of 19,000 bitcoin futures traded here yesterday.
“The previous high-volume session was January 17 with just less than 15,500 contracts traded.”
As bitcoin creeps towards the centreground of global investment, Mr Davitt said that his firm will “be watching to see if this is a volume aberration or if more and more institutional types are moving into crypto.”
Adding: “The overall bullish sentiment continues in XBT Bitcoin Futures.”
Updates below throughout the day….
11.00am – UPDATE – BTC to “explode”
Andrew Pritchard of the Blockchain, 10X Growth Account has put together six reasons that “underpin” the belief that cryptocurrencies are about to explode.
1. Bitcoin futures
On 12th April almost all short orders were cancelled from the Bitcoin futures markets. He said: “This essentially removed most of the downward pressure on the Bitcoin price. As most cryptocurrencies are pegged against Bitcoin this has an overall positive effect.”
2. Old money
George Soros and the potential arrival of the Rockefeller family’s venture-capital arm ‘Venrock’.
3. Big banks
Mr Pritchard said: “Barclays is launching a cryptocurrency dealing desk. This legitimises cryptocurrencies and shows that institutional investment is coming to the table shortly.”
4. Bigger banks
Goldman Sachs have hired Justin Schmidt as VP of digital asset markets. Mr Pritchard said: “With his background in cryptocurrencies this demonstrates they are gearing up to start offering cryptocurrencies to their hnw clients.”
The SEC and the FCA are talking about cryptocurrency regulation in the very near future.
6. Fear of missing out (FOMO)
He said: “Nobody wants to be caught out as they were in the Dotcom boom and bust. Apple shares traded from $1 to $5 in very short time before crashing back to $1.
“Seasoned investors got heavily caught out. However if they had held in Apple shares are now approximately $170! That’s 170 times growth since the Dotcom crash.”
George Soros could enter the bitcoin space
Having an industry heavyweight such as Nasdaq consider a move towards crypto gives additional credibility to the industry and indicates a clear pathway to a more regulated environment for institutional investors.
10.19am – UPDATE – NASDAQ analysis
Could the world’s second biggest stock exchange move towards bitcoin?
A recent statement by Adena Friedman, CEO of Nasdaq, floated the idea of Nasdaq becoming a cryptocurrency exchange.
The move has been warmly received with one industry analyst saying, “if the blockchain and crypto industry want to attract institutional investors, the only way forward is by established exchanges looking to build their offering, whilst maintaining their best practices from the traditional market.”
Nick Cowan, CEO of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange, adds that there is huge potential but, “both regulation and the existing high-quality industry standards need to be implemented to build the next evolution of crypto exchanges.”
Nolan Bauerle, Director of Research at CoinDesk, support the optimism, adding, “Nasdaq saw opportunities early in the first wave of interest in bitcoin.
“For a few years already, they formed partnerships, ran tests, and paid close attention.”
While Shane Brett, Founder and CEO of GECKO Governance said, “having an industry heavyweight such as Nasdaq consider a move towards crypto gives additional credibility to the industry and indicates a clear pathway to a more regulated environment for institutional investors.”
Nasdaq is considering taking up the crypto challenge
8.08am – UPDATE – George Soros ‘optimism’?
Following news that the Rockefeller family’s venture-capital arm “Venrock” has partnered with CoinFund to help entrepreneurs launch blockchain-based businesses, Andrew Pritchard MD of the 10x Growth Account told Express.co.uk that he is “optimistic” about the arrival of George Soros into the cryptocurrency space.
He said: “George Soros is preparing his family office to start trading cryptocurrencies. He is one of the most famous investors in the world so this creates optimism.”
John Frazer, Co-founder and Chief Communications Officer of DAV Foundation, told Investing.com:
“If Soros is investing now, crypto will have met a list of criteria at his fund.
“This telegraphs that he feels there is significant profit to be made in the space. As more high-profile investors like Soros enter the crypto market, the more risk-averse institutions that represent trillions of dollars such as sovereign funds will begin eyeing the returns that this new asset class could provide.
“At that point crypto will experience a profound transformation in terms of usage and value.”