Investers can now bet on the price of Ethereum through Nasdaq

coinsharesJersey-based CoinShares announced today that two Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) connected to the price of the Ethereum cryptocurrency can now be traded on Nasdaq.

Denominated in both Swedish Kronor and Euro, the ETNs are designed to track the price of Ethereum and are based on the average value of a select group of liquid Euro exchanges.

This comes as no surprise with other providers including XBT issuing similar ETNs for tracking Bitcoin last month and GABI, the first regulated BTC hedge fund combining the two entities to launch CoinShares who have crypto assets of around $300 million. These previous ETN’s were made available to investors through Hargreaves Lansdown.

Investing in cryptocurrencies have been notoriously difficult for everyday investors due to wallet, transaction and exchange complexities however with CoinShares historic NASDAQ announcement non tech-savvy investors will now have full access to the cryptocurrency market.

In the last 18 months at least fifteen cryptocurrency funds have launched and around five crypto-based investment products are currently pending review with regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere.

“Today is a historical moment for Ethereum and ether as an asset; and for the future of crypto-assets. It was a little over two years ago that the bitcoin ETNs began trading – offering investors exposure to bitcoin via an established exchange for the first time. Today, we are able to bring ether to the market and mark another major first. It is important to remember how far and how fast the space has matured in the less than 8 years since this revolution began,” says Ryan Radloff, Co-Principal at CoinShares.

We put some questions to CoinShares in a short interview:

What type of investors do you hope to attract with the ETH ETNs?

Product is for any investor who has qualified access to Nasdaq Stockholm.

Can you give us an estimated $ price of what you think Ethereum will trading at by 2018?

No price target right now – though we did a valuation model in our latest Ethereum research which may be helpful

Do you plan to trade on other exchanges such in currencies such as £ or $ ?

Cannot comment on future plans of that nature, apologies

What other cryptocurrencies do you have in mind? are you open to other ETNs with other currencies?

We delivered this product because the market had been requesting it since last year. We will follow market demand for future products as well.

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Could Uber be the first big company to accept Ethereum?

After a laborious nine-week search Uber’s management board has voted to appoint crypto-friendly Dara Khosrowshahi as their new chief executive – a potential win for Bitcoin Ethereum.

Under Dara’s 12 year run, Expedia was one of the first major organisations to accept Bitcoin as a form of payment (back in 2014) and subsequently legitimising it. So much so that both Microsoft and Dell followed suit shortly after. Dara is also a personal investor in Bitcoin startup 21 inc and has been an influential promoter of blockchain technology and its uses in real world projects.

With Bitcoin dominating the early days it made sense for Expedia to start accepting the cryptocurrency, however three years down the line it would seem Ethereum would be a better all round solution.

Bitcoin has also encountered a number of issues of late, many of which have stemmed from its slow confirmation times and increased transaction fee’s. With neither of these issues being appropriately addressed it is impossible to use this currency in any time critical use cases. Ethereum however with its lightening fast conformations (which are soon to get even faster) and low transaction fees would be a well equipped contender. It only takes around 15 seconds for a transaction to be confirmed on the Ethereum network making it easy to pay as you pop out of the cab, as opposed to Bitcoin which would require you to… well we’re not quite sure how that would work.

Rumours around Uber accepting cryptocurrencies have long circulated but until now they been nothing more than internet chatter, with Dara’s appointment however it may well become a reality. These are exciting times for the cryptosphere.

Will you be paying for your next uber with Ether?

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Ethereum bounces back

Despite reaching all time highs of around $400 in mid June, Ethereum has been slowly declining. It hits its lowest price of $130 last Sunday. The coin has seen a lot of volatility and panic although this now looks to be abating.

Its steady incline over the last 48 hour period looks promising as it hits $190 at the time of writing. This trend is expected to continue with the price breaching $200 by the end of the week.

ethereum price chart

There is no one reason for Ethereum’s recent decline but the biggest culprit seems to be the Bitcoin split. This has caused panic and uncertainty for many traders across all altcoins resulting in a sea of red.

Also the millions of ETH being raised and dumped for fiat through the recent ICO frenzy has also fueled investor uncertainty and driven down the price.

Even now the recent Tezo Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is worrying many traders with the fear that the project will dump the $200 million equivalent raised on the market in the very near future.

The market cap has dropped from $36 billion to $14 billion. That’s a $22 billion loss with a two-month period.

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BitMarket Thief Arrested By Polish Cybercrime Unit

The Polish Cybercrime Unit based in Krakow have announced the arrest of a 28-year old man in connection with the theft of around 85,000 PLN from Polish Bitcoin exchange BitMarket.pl

Working from a tip off, the Cybercrime Unit began tracking the perpetrator and subsequently arrested computer scientist ‘Raphael W’ – who according to the police manipulated the BitMarket software to illegally withdraw around 85,000 Zloty or £15,000 Sterling.

The official notice was posted on the Provincial Police Headquarters website but was unclear with regards to how exactly the theft took place and what has happened with the money.

The perpetrator was arrested for breaking the Computer Fraud Act – Art. 287 of the Penal Code with a maximum imprisonment of five years in jail.

Customers of the Polish Bitcoin exchange recently voiced concerns regarding the theft of coins from their wallets.

The exchange recently lost their banking partnership with Bank BPH.

CoinSpectator has reached out to Polish Cybercrime Unit and awaiting a reply.

bitmarket police thief arrest

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Seller says he’ll only accept Bitcoins for his $3M (15K BTC) luxury villa

– Luxury villa for sale for 15,000 Bitcoins

– ‘There are hundreds of Bitcoin millionaires out there, and it’s burning a hole in their pocket’

3bfront new one
Font view of the $3 Million luxury villa

Fancy views of the beautiful Mediterranean coastline with the prime minister as your next door neighbour? Then maybe it’s time to move to Caesarea for a slice of your very own paradise.

The property owner is offering his luxury villa for sale at nearly $3 million, but wants the buyer to pay in Bitcoin.

The villa is located on the Mediterranean coast, in a quiet cul-de-sac in the exclusive Caesarea area, and boasts seven large bedrooms, five bathrooms and a safe room, not to forget the outdoor heated pool shaded by tropical palm trees.

The luxury property was listed on BitPremier last week, a high-end website for ‘astute buyers in the Bitcoin community’, where shoppers can find everything from super yachts to vintage cars and private islands, all purchasable with the cryptocurrency.

Potential buyers will be surrounded by the wealthy elite, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Valery Kogan, who has a cool net worth of nearly $2 billion and is a close friend of Vladimir Putin.

Nethanyahu_2336312b
Neighbour Benjamin Netanyahu

 

Appearing on Israeli prime time television,the property’s owner, Eli, said,

‘I want to make history by selling my property for Bitcoin. Whether the price goes up or down, I’m prepared to take the risk.

‘There are hundreds of Bitcoin early adopters who became multimillionaires literally overnight, and it’s burning a hole in their pocket.

‘The location is not the normal place for a holiday home for anyone from outside Israel, but the Caesarea coastline is a hidden gem.’


Bitcoin is bought and sold on a peer-to-peer network independent of any central control. The currency’s cryptographic features make it attractive to the tech savvy, and enable anyone to shop online without fear of censors or government regulation.

The cryptocurrency was trading at £218 on the exchange yesterday, and recently, companies like Dell, Virgin Galactic, Expedia and PayPal have offered customers the choice to pay with the digital currency.

Pool view from the luxury villa
Pool view from the luxury villa

The property is for sale here: https://www.bitpremier.com/5-real-estate/178-beautiful-7br-luxury-villa-caesarea-israel

 

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Nuovocard the future of Bitcoin PoS

Bitcoin startup Nuovocard which is set to officially launch at the end of September – is an innovative POS solution which aims to speed up the process of buying, selling and trading goods in a retail environment with a simple debit card.

The card is the first of a kind for transactions as customers can make payments offline with no internet connection by either swiping or scanning the magnetic card which comes with a handy QR code across any android or IOS device to make payment.

One of the main problems with integrating Bitcoin payments within a brick and mortar setting is the speed and queue which usually forms behind the customer fiddling with their smartphone. Nuovocard solves this problem as the customer can quickly hand the card to the merchant who will then swipe it and then prompt the customer to enter the pin or simply scan the QR code.

What adds to the speed of Nuovocard is that the system ensures immediate conversions & payouts to retailers with support from local exchanges world over. This means that merchants can be rest assured that the fluctuating Bitcoin market price will not affect the sale price.

The backend system processes transactions using a Google API with a water tight SSL connection with AES encryption.

“Security and safeguarding customers transactions is the focus of NuovoCard’s design” said the CEO.

Merchants can download the Nuovocard app at the end of September either at the Google or Apple store and the official Nuovocard website. Anyone wishing to use the card straight away can sign up anonymously and print a QR code version of the card.

NuovoCard will be an irresistible POS option for all merchants looking to accept Bitcoin due to the 0.5% transaction fee.

Anyone wishing to test the security of NuovoCard can take part in the hacking challenge which has a very attractive $2800 bounty.

Follow CoinSpectator on Twitter @coinspectator for more Bitcoin news.

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Price of one Bitcoin to reach $2000 by end of 2014

A prominent venture capitalist has predicted that the price of a single Bitcoin will breach the $2000 mark by the end of the year.

Geoff Lewis, a leading partner at the Founders Fund which has investors and early employees of prominent technology companies including PayPal, Facebook, Googleand Google has predicted at the CoinSummit in London that Bitcoin will rocket in price within the next five months.

Other industry experts have told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the $2000 price is an underestimate of the potential value Bitcoin will posses in the future.

Roger Ver said”

“I actually think $2000 is a pretty conservative estimate,” he told The Telegraph. “We don’t know for sure if it’s going to happen in this year, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Bitcoin’s price is going to be thousands of dollars and, almost for sure, tens of thousands of dollars for one.”

There are now a whopping 13m Bitcoins in circulation with a growing number of wallets and prominent stores accepting the currency.

Will the price reach $2000 by the end of the year? Who knows!

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Bitcoin could be worth more than half a million dollars each

We spoke to Sime Bakic from Bitkonan, one of the rising Bitcoin startups tipped for success in 2014.

Although BitKonan is EU based, CEO, Sime Bakic, from the very beginning wanted to have product which will attract a client base from all over the world. That was main reason why BitKonan is USD and not EUR trading platform. However, since than some European countries made biggest progress in terms of regulation of crypto currencies and potential of EU clients is growing rapidly everyday. Of course, people from BitKonan, flexible as they are, decided to react quickly and to introduce SEPA transfers for their European clients and for us that was reason to organize an interview with BitKonan CEO, Mr Sime Bakic in their Croatian headquaters.

What prompted you to enter the world of Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a revolution. Bitcoin verification technology is two steps ahead of his time, and can be mapped to all segments of the business or those who need a certificate of authenticity. 
In this case it is Bitcoin, and tomorrow it may be something else. 
In any case, I see great potential for widespread use and I just couldn’t let such great things happen without me. So I gather a team of top experts from different fields (finance, programming, organisation) and we very seriously started the implementation of the project.

How did you come up with the idea to make BitKonan market?

Bitcoin markets are still very poorly developed and have not yet reached the level of a full range of functions which Bitcoin with its potential deserves. So we decided to use our experience and knowledge and to offer to the Bitcoin community a market that meets the demands of a professional trader who seeks swift execution, advanced functions (stop limit) and visibility. On BitKonan is also very easy to place an order (the key combination buy, sell) and this makes it accessible to any ordinary trader as well.

Bitcoin is very often linked to crime, what do you think about this general perception in public?

I think that’s nonsense. Everything can be linked to the crime.  Criminals use all currencies including Bitcoin. Bitcoin is not anonymous, as some may think, because all Bitcoin transactions are public and visible in the transaction chain.

What do you think about the future of Bitcoin?


Anything is possible. I think the Bitcoin protocol is a revolutionary technology that has a great future, although still belongs to an extremely risky investment. If enter in widespread use, Bitcoin could worth more than half a million dollars each. In the long term I think Litecoin could profile itself as a currency for the broad mass because of the rapid transaction processing and to become a serious alternative to Bitcoin. If we apply 2nd law of thermodynamics, the long-term value of Bitcoin and Litecion will be leveled out. Looking from this point of view it seems that Litecoin is currently better investment for long term investors and speculators. Now it seems impossible, but remember that only a year ago Bitcoin was worth a few dollars, and today about the 650 dollars, same thing could happen with Litecoin.
In any case Bitcoin protocol will leave a deep mark in history … you can bet on it!
We can be happy that we live in a time when Bitcoin occurred and that we are part of it.

What do you think about other crypto currencies? 
We are thinking to introduce shitcoin on the market…. Laugh.
No, I think the market will take what it needs, and that will probably be the LTC and BTC.
All alternative crypto currencies are copies of Bitcoin and Litecoin, so I do not see reason why they should enter in the widespread use.
However, I consider them positive to test various concepts and if some currency brings something ingeniously new and pass the test of the market it can easily take a leading role.

What are your plans for the future of BitKonan market? 


As you mentioned earlier, we are currently working on the implementation of new funding options. 
Except of basic Bitcoin, Litecoin trading options, we think about the introduction of more complex financial instruments, but for something like that we have to wait market to mature.

Of course if the negotiations with venture capital investors start to be more dynamic we can expect it soon… in any case it will be a challenging endeavor, which will require more engagement and resources.
To summarize, our aim is to offer a wide range of services, so that BitKonan take the lead role of Bitcoin industry.

 

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UK Banks Strangling Bitcoin Startups

The City of London is home to some of the worlds leading financial businesses and is no doubt the biggest centre across Europe. In fact according to the Global Financial Centres Index 2013, London ranks at a cool first place.

With that in mind one might assume that the UK would be the obvious adaptive leader for emerging financial technologies such as cryptocurrencies.

Unfortunately this is far from the case and has been confirmed by hundreds of Bitcoin related startups that have been denied business bank accounts in the UK due to the lack of crypto related regulations (and rampant bureaucracy).

Suggesting virtual currencies are too new or untested is no excuse anymore either. Cryptocurrencies are not ‘new’ at all, especially since their explosive growth in the past few years. For example Bitcoin, the most popular virtual currency to date has developed handsomely from its message board roots to becoming a mainstream digital currency that is flourishing globally with a total market cap value that is just short of £4.5 billion. Not too shabby.

Its success seems to have struck fear into the current financial community resulting in a very blasé corporate response (for the most part) despite Bitcoin related businesses extensively trying to work with banks as opposed to replacing them.

Although Bitcoin is decentralised and can effectively operate without a banking institution, it has become very obvious that banks are still required and will continue to have their place in a crypto world.

However rather than sharing ‘free hugs’ in celebration of this inevitable technology, crypto hopefuls are instead being met with pitchforks and abrupt rejections.

Is this just another show of centuries old, lethargic financial moguls flexing their power and stomping out any better alternatives.

The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) is the independent regulatory body in the UK whose purpose is to regulate financial firms whilst providing services to consumers and maintaining the integrity of the UK’s financial markets.

The FCA has stated that it does not regulate digital currencies and has no future plans to do so.

The ramifications of not being legally authorised means banks can openly refuse support for crypto related accounts on the grounds that it is high risk money that could be associated with laundering, seamless transactions and cross border ease for financing crimes around the world.

This leaves for example Bitcoin businesses in a state of limbo where they are forced to hobble together self-regulatory protocols that are never officially approved. So despite their usefulness (and genuine legality) the wings of these services are indefinitely clipped.

It is looking more and more like the lack of regulation or guidance from the UK government is nothing more than a ruse to thwart crypto businesses and disrupt the growing ecosystem.

German based Bitcoin exchange Kraken has already signed an exclusive deal with Fidor, a bank that has seemingly taken Bitcoin by the horns and is providing a range of products in partnership with Kraken.

Bitcoin exchange Safello has already won the backing of Swedish bank ‘Handelsbanken’ which could be a hint that Scandinavian countries(highly ranked in the Index of Economic Freedom) could be early adopters of cryptocurrencies.

It remains to be seen just how long this tribal repression by the banks and UK government will continue.

MetroBank stopped working with Bitcoin exchange Intersango. Barclays also stopped working with Mtgox, Blockchain and Intersango.

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Mt. Gox Bitcoin price surges 200% amidst withdrawal rumors

Withdrawal speculation has sparked a price surge on the troubled Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, with the BTC/USD exchange rate reaching an all time high since forgoing transaction meltability problems.

The rumour was sparked on the popular Bitcoin reddit community board which retains over 100,000 loyal subscribers resulting in a surge in the BTC/USD price. It reached an all time high of $348.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Mt. Gox was once the most popular virtual currency exchange in the world, reporting an impressive 10,000 new user registrations per month last April.
If you’ve not been keeping up with the recent news, this success was quickly reversed with prices diving to $91.50 when user accounts were suspended. Mt. Gox blamed a transaction bug in the Bitcoin source code.

Investors and account holders have yet to receive concrete evidence that their investments are safe or even timely progress of how the company is working to fix the alleged bugs.

Is the sudden price surge a sign that the troubled exchange is once again operating as normal?

All the same, we think it’s safe to say that even if withdrawals resume, customers will no longer trust such a company with their hard-earned Bitcoins.

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