World's biggest blockchain ETF launched, IEO the return of the ICO?

14 Mar 2019 07:00
Marcus Ochmann – Head of OTC Trading

Market Update 7th - 12th March 2019

In Markets

Bitcoin and Ethereum both finished the week in positive territory, up 3.9% and 4.6% respectively. But it was Litecoin that was the star performer, surging 18.1% over the course of the past seven days. Some suggest this is due to increased awareness of Litecoin's upcoming 'halving' in August when mining rewards will drop from 25 LTC to 12.5 LTC, thereby reducing the supply. Ripple (XRP) traded sideways this week, finishing 1.3% up on where it began, as did Bitcoin Cash which marginally improved its position by 2.78%.

 

COO Lasanka Perera front and centre on the Crypto Sydney Panel on Tuesday.

 

In Headlines

Facebook’s new crypto currency could vastly deepen interapp operability

It’s hard to predict exactly what Zuckerberg and his cronies have planned for the new Facebook cryptocurrency. He might cop a bit of flak for dogging the Winklevoss twins but you can't deny he is one shrewd operator. The coin makes sense. Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are all juggernaut platforms in their own right. With a common digital currency layered over all three, a lot of possibilities open up. Facebook Marketplace, a small Gumtree like addition to the platform is already starting to make good progress, albeit slowly. Instagram has defined how important social media and ‘influencers’ impact small businesses and cultural trends. And finally WhatsApp’s 1.5 BILLION monthly active users gives this trinity enormous reach.

I think we are seeing the next iteration of multi-app integration and a new form of revenue stream to leverage off user bases. If the house, Facebook, charges a small transaction cost, users will be able to buy/sell goods and services, make peer to peer micropayments, or move money globally to any Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp user.

 

IR submits response to Australian Treasury

Independent Reserve has led unified responses from industry leaders and significant stakeholders for submission to an Issues Paper released by the Australian Treasury. The submission is now available on our website. It details the opportunities in the ICO market and our recommendations for understanding of how tokens should be categorised, how the different token types are regulated abroad and how they might fit into the current Australian regulatory landscape from an investor protection and taxation perspective.

 

Lightning Network grows rapidly

Over the past month the Lightning Network has grown its capacity to 750 BTC and increased the number of payment channels by 8,000, to 32,000 in total. Although it's still early days ($3.2 million capacity is about the cost of a house in Sydney) it does suggest the Lightning Network is capable of making small Bitcoin transactions cheap and fast. Given Bitcoin’s scalability issues, this can only be a good thing.

 

Blockchain investment will be worth $2.9 billion this year

Global spending on blockchain solutions is forecasted to reach $2.9 billion this year according to a new report from the International Data Corporation. The report suggests that spending on blockchain solutions will increase by 89% from last year, and that the period across 2018 to 2022 will see an annual growth rate of 76% to reach $12.4 billion by 2022. The financial sector will lead the way, accounting for $1.1 billion of investment, followed by manufacturing and resources and retail and professional services.

 

IEO the return of the ICO?

A big theme of 2019 in crypto has been the emergence of Initial Exchange Offerings. Binance has led the way here with their Binance Launchpad. It has successfully launched and listed a number of IEOs including Fetch and BitTorrent, both grossly oversubscribed. The idea does make sense, for a fee you get access to the exchange’s massive user base, all of whom have been KYC’ed and verified, you get listed and you get the brand rep of rocking with a big time exchange.

In the past week I have noticed Bittrex and KuCoin joining the IEO party too. There is likely plenty more to follow. Is the ICO FOMO that we experienced in early 2018 re-emerging? If it is, I sure hope we have learnt a thing or two and that the projects have a bit more substance.

 

World's biggest blockchain ETF launched on London Stock Exchange

The world's biggest blockchain ETF, comprising of a portfolio of 48 different companies utilising blockchain technology, has just been launched on the London Stock Exchange. Investment management company Invesco, which has more than $800 billion under management, created the ETF.

 

Happy trading!

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