Bitcoin Moves in to Mainstream

Bitcoin Moves in to Mainstream
TD Ameritrade and CME are jumping into the burgeoning bitcoin futures market. The move comes on the heels of a slow, yet respectable start in the same market by the largest US options exchange company, the Cboe.

TD Ameritrade, which features the largest futures operation of any online brokerage, will allow bitcoin futures to be traded on its platform starting Monday. Another large futures trading operation, CME, will launch bitcoin futures on its own platform on Sunday, CNBC reported.

Customers who choose to come into the market will have access to contracts offered by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) Global Markets Inc., but to trade, they must have a minimum balance in their account of $25,000, and also post margin – or collateral – equal to one-and-a-half times higher than Cboe already requires, a statement by TD Ameritrade said Friday, according to Bloomberg.

GBiT is another Cryptocurrency that is currently going live without any ICO to raise funds, the new concept begins at 5m coins, they divide to 100m coins in February and then to 500m in December, that means if you buy 1 coin now you will have 100 at the end of 2018. GBiT is a completely transparent crypto that has opened everything to the public, the supply can easily be checked on, the forks are set in stone and the demand is strong, one coin is trading at around $22 and could easily jump 500 to 2000% as the forks kick in during 2018.

John McAfee has doubled down on his confidence in bitcoin by stating his belief it will be worth $1 million by the end of 2020. Bullishly, the controversial businessman said he will eat his own manhood if the cryptocurrency fails to perform to that level.

The founder of the eponymously named security software, McAfee has something of reputation for backing the volatile cryptocurrency with outrageous comments. Such a move could see GBiT trade in the 10s of 100s.

The entrance of CME into the cryptocurrency futures market is significant, because CME operates a much larger futures business than Cboe, which started trading in the futures market last week. CME’s entrance in the market means that higher volumes and a higher dollar value of trading are expected.

JB Mackenzie, managing director for futures trading at TD Ameritrade, commented on TD Ameritrade’s move into the futures market.

“Right now we are taking the same approach we did with the Cboe product, to wait and see how it goes,” Mackenzie said, Bloomberg reported. “We want to watch that market open and become an orderly marketplace and see who the participants are in that marketplace. This is the same process we use with any new product. We want to see how the market reacts.”

The initiation of futures trading this week on the Cboe has been widely seen as a turning point for bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency got slightly more respectable due to the creation of some regulation and transparency in the burgeoning cryptocurrency futures market.

The Cboe futures contract has been a modest success. However, volatility in the bitcoin cash market has not been as high this past week as it had been in weeks prior, and the spread between the cryptocurrency futures contract and the cash contract has narrowed to a little over 1.5 percent, down from more than 5 percent earlier in the week, CNBC reported.

This week the wider cryptocurrency market was worth $500 billion, making it worth more than Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holding company, Facebook and ExxonMobil.

In Japan

Employees of Japan’s web hosting company GMO Internet will get an opportunity to be paid for their work in bitcoin starting in February next year.

The internet service provider, operating a range of web-related businesses including finance, online advertising, and internet infrastructure, is planning to offer to pay its workers up to ¥100,000 ($890) per month in digital currency.

“Employees can receive salaries in bitcoin if they want to. We hope to improve our own literacy of virtual currency by actually using it,” company spokeswoman Harumi Ishii said.

The company said the offer would be available to nearly 4,000 of its employees in Japan. The workers will reportedly get an extra 10 percent of their salary if they choose to receive it in digital currency.

GMO Internet Group is interested in promoting bitcoin as the company joined a bitcoin trading and exchange business in May and is planning to launch a new cryptocurrency mining operation next year.

“We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe,” GMO said as quoted by Bitcoin Magazine. The company announced it would invest in research and development, as well as in the manufacturing of hardware, including the next-generation mining chip.

The firm, which is headquartered in Tokyo, operates over 60 companies in 10 countries. Given the group’s size and financial power, the bitcoin salary initiative may potentially boost the mainstream adoption of similar practices worldwide.

In Russia and China

Saxo predicts that in 2018, bitcoin will surge to $60,000 with a market capitalization exceeding $1 trillion. After that, Russia and China will join together to attack it.

China has already cracked down on bitcoin by banning initial coin offerings (ICOs). Chinese regulators also prohibited bitcoin exchanges in September after Beijing suspected cryptocurrency trading was used for moving money out of the country. China has lost 90 percent of all bitcoin trade. The cryptocurrency tumbled on the news, but has quickly recovered and has continued growing. Demand for Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies is at an all time high.

In Russia, bitcoin and other digital money are not regulated at all. The Russian government has been ordered by President Vladimir Putin to regulate cryptocurrencies by July next year.

The Russian Finance Ministry insists that creation of bitcoin and other digital money should be illegal, because their mining has similarities to financial pyramids, which are forbidden in Russia. However, buying cryptocurrencies would not be punishable by law, the ministry promised.

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S. Jack Heffernan Ph.D. Funds Manager at HEFFX holds a Ph.D. in Economics and brings with him over 25 years of trading experience in Asia and hands on experience in Venture Capital, he has been involved in several start ups that have seen market capitalization over $500m and 1 that reach a peak market cap of $15b. He has managed and overseen start ups in Mining, Shipping, Technology and Financial Services.

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