Tag Archives: bitcoin

ledgerx-options-market-bitcoin

CFTC Approves LedgerX Exchange to Facilitate Bitcoin Options Trading

What’s Next for Option Markets? A CFTC regulated platform for bitcoin options; NY-based firm gets approval to trade puts and calls on cryptocurrency.

For bitcoin aficionados, the road to legitimacy has been pockmarked with obstacles and detractors, including those who have insisted that bitcoins are the currency of money launders, drug dealers and illegal arms dealers, as well as those who believe ‘bitcoin is a massive Ponzi Scheme’. In the meanwhile, the price of a bitcoin has increased exponentially in the last 12 months alone and has vaulted past the price of gold–which has historically been the back-up currency of choice for those hedging fiat currencies of sovereign governments.  But, innovation and disruption knows no barrier or limits, demonstrated by fact the US CFTC has put its impromptu er on New York-based LedgerX, which will be the first regulated platform to trade options contracts on cryptocurrency.

Per CNBC coverage–The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Monday it unanimously approved digital currency-trading platform LedgerX for clearing derivatives. LedgerX initially plans to clear bitcoin options, the release said.

“A U.S. federally-regulated venue for derivative contracts settling in digital currencies opens the market to a much larger customer base,” Paul L. Chou, LedgerX CEO, said in a separate release from the trading firm.

“We are seeing strong demand from institutions that previously could not participate in the bitcoin market due to compliance restrictions against unregulated venues,” Chou said, noting a desire for assets that aren’t correlated with the broader stock market.

The firm plans to launch bitcoin options in early fall, and ethereum options “within a few months,” Chou told CNBC in a phone interview. That will mark the first federally supervised options venue for bitcoin.

LedgerX received an order of registration as a Swap Execution Facility on July 6.

The firm primarily operates in New York and said in May it raised $11.4 million in a Series B round of financing led by Miami International Holdings and Huiyin Blockchain Venture Investments.

Prospectus.com team of capital markets experts and securities lawyers specialize in preliminary offering prospectus, secondary offering prospectus and full menu of financial offering memorandum document preparation. More information via this link

The CFTC noted that its Division of Clearing and Risk also issued Monday a letter “exempting LedgerX from complying with certain Commission regulations due to LedgerX’s fully-collateralized clearing model.”

Chou said the exemption was due to LedgerX’s plan to “not allow very leveraged trading.”

The authorization “does not constitute or imply a Commission endorsement of the use of digital currency generally, or bitcoin specifically,” the CFTC said in a release.

Bitcoin traded Monday afternoon about two-thirds of a percent higher, near $2,780, while ethereum traded about half a percent lower, near $225, according to CoinDesk.

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blockchain-equities-ats-overstock

What’s Next? A Blockchain-Powered ATS for Equities

“What’s Next? Well, for those familiar with Patrick Byrne, the controversial and innovative founder of Overstock.com, one of the first online retailers to embrace the use of bitcoins, it should not be a surprise that Overstock’s chief honcho would ‘get the joke’ and realize its all about the underlying technology that powers cryptocurrency applications, known as distributed ledger. While bitcoin currency continues to encounter challenges in terms of mass embracement, the real grease that makes the makes the wheels turn is under the hood. With that, Overstock subsidiary “T0” (T-zero) is taking a page from both the industry consortium formed by R3 and the Senahill-backed Symbiont –both of which target institutional capital markets usage–and aiming it’s own sights on retail investors by setting to launch an equities-centric Alternative Trading System aka ATS powered by their own blockchain formula.

A distributed ledger is a consensus of replicated, shared, and synchronized digital data geographically spread across multiple sites, countries, and/or institutions.
A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger, comprised of unchangable, digitally recorded data in packages called blocks.
Rob Daly of MarketsMedia (not related to MarketsMuse) provides the scoop..

Online retailer Overstock.com expects trading to begin on its blockchain-based alternative trading system before the end of the year, according to company officials.

The ATS will be operated by Overstock.com subsidiary TO as part of the company’s Medici Project, and it will only handle trades in the company stock, at least at first. So while it’s not an immediate competitive threat to the existing field of 13 U.S. stock exchanges plus several dozen ATSs, the initiative will be closely watched as a gauge of the potential of distributed-ledger technology in capital markets.

The ATS will write completed trades to its blockchain instead of routing them to the National Securities Clearing Corp., a subsidiary of Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., for clearing.

Overstock.com plans to prime the liquidity on the ATS through a new issue of corporate shares to existing shareholders the day before trading commences on the new trading venue.

judd bagley blockchain ATS
Judd Bagley

T0 officials plan to formally announce its partnership with a broker-dealer on Sept. 12. “For those who want to trade on the ATS, they will have to create an account with the broker-dealer,” said Overstock’s man-in-charge Judd Bagley, who declined to name the brokerage firm.

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Investors will be able to select from multiple “very vanilla” order types, which are still in development, he added. T0 may use a so-called maker-taker rebate model to encourage liquidity, but officials have not made a final decision.

The new trading venue is a mix of internally developed technology and the technology T0 acquired with its purchase of order-routing firm SpeedRoute in October 2015. T0 built its matching engine internally as well as the necessary interfaces to the rest of the U.S. equity marketplace.

The company, in conjunction with Bay-area consultancy PeerNova, also developed a proprietary blockchain architecture for the ATS instead of using Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple.

To continue reading the story from MarketsMedia, please click here

cryptocurrency

Goldman Sachs Wants Patent To Settle Trades in Bitcoin Tool

(TradersMagazine) Trading settlement and clearing could go the way of bitcoin, as white glove bulge bracket brokerdealer Goldman Sachs and fintech aficiondo has filed a patent for technology to settle securities in the cyber cryptocurrency.

As first reported in Bitcoin Magazine on November 19, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s patent application 20150332395 or “Cryptographic Currency For Securities Settlement.” The patent described “ […] methods for settling securities in financial markets using distributed, peer-to-peer, and cryptographic techniques ” using a cryptocurrency named SETLcoin.

The application lists Paul Walker and Phil J. Venables as the inventors of the technology.

Walker is the co-head of technology at Goldman and a member of the Board of Directors of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC).  Venables is managing director and chief information security officer at Goldman Sachs.

The patent application addresses chain of custody of an asset, counterparty risk and settlement through a cryptocurrency called SETLcoin. According to the patent application viewed by Bitcoin Magazine, SETLcoin ownership can be used to prevent fraud, including float fraud such as kiting.

Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners co-led a $50 million strategic investment round in Bitcoin company Circle in late April of this year. This was the first publicly announced cryptocurrency investment by Goldman. However, as reported by CB Insights, Goldman’s investment activity into fintech startups has been intensifying.

FinTech Dept: Banks Embrace Bitcoin’s Blockchain

It doesn’t take a “markets muse” who speaks in tech talk to know that Fintech is not only fashionable, its now mainstream. And, whilst the early “jibber jabber” surrounding Bitcoin was fodder for Wall Street naysayers, including JPM’s Jamie Dimon, “the worm has turned” according to NYT columnist Nathaniel Popper, a bitcoin expert and the author of “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money.”

For earlier MarketsMuse coverage of the bitcoin and blockchain movement, click here

In Popper’s most recent NYT column profiling the cadre of banks, along with assortment of startups founded by banking expats, the fintech fascination is less about bitcoins as a currency, and all about the blockchain technology that powers the virtual currency.

MarketsMuse Editor Note: Though some of skeptics sitting on the MarketsMuse editorial stools suggest that these fintech applications should be targeting industries that actually embrace innovation, such as online gambling and adult entertainment, we won’t diss anyone by selling near-term straddles.

“…Nowhere, though, are more money and resources being spent on the technology than on Wall Street — the very industry that Bitcoin was created to circumvent.

“There is so much pull and interest on this right now,” said Derek White, the chief digital officer at Barclays, the British global bank, which has a team of employees working on about 20 experiments that explore how the technology underlying Bitcoin might change finance. “That comes from a recognition that, ‘Wow, we can use this to change the fundamental model of how we operate to create our future.’”

For people like Mr. White, Bitcoin isn’t just a digital token to use for online purchases. Instead, many of the top minds in finance have come to believe that the software that brought the virtual currency into existence also enables a fundamentally new way of transacting and maintaining records online — allowing people and banks to directly exchange money and assets like stocks and bonds without having to rely on a long chain of expensive middlemen…”

A few banks have gone public with their work, but most of the activity has been happening behind the scenes. At one private meeting, held in April at one of the Manhattan offices of Bank of America, executives from more than a dozen large banks gathered to confidentially discuss how the technology underlying Bitcoin could be used to change foreign currency trading, the largest financial market in the world, according to people who attended the meeting.

Central banks like the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England have their own teams looking at the technology.

“A year ago, it was more of an idea,” said Max Neukirchen, the head of corporate strategy at JPMorgan Chase. “Now, it is a real opportunity. You test it and realize that this can play a big role in our thinking about how our own infrastructure will evolve.”

Who are the players to watch? Aside from the secretive projects inside of each of the 6-pack shops (including JPM!), major exchanges including NASDAQ and NYSE owner ICE are actively throwing resources at blockchain technology applications. On the startup scene, Dave Rutter, a former inter-dealer broker who was a head capo at Prebon Yamane, and then CEO OF ICAP before starting electronic broker LiqudityEdge is now wearing two hats via his role at blockchain wannabe R3CEV LLC. Not to be outsmarted is Mark Smith’s “Smart Securities” product, created by his startup Symbiont. Smith is the former co-founder and COO of Lava Trading and a certified tech wonk with a keen FX markets expertise.  His company, with help from fintech merchant bank SenaHill Partners has so far outfoxed R3CEV by having already set the stage to facilitate the first corporate bond issuance using the blockchain technology.

For Nathaniel Popper’s latest commentary “Bitcoin Technology Piques Interest on Wall St”., please click here

symbiont_bitcoinist

Attention Wall Street BlockHeads: Get Your Bitcoins Here

MarketsMuse fintech update is a “bid on” to prior Wall Street bitcoin initiative coverage, and following is courtesy of excerpt from 4 Aug story by Bloomberg LP reporter Andrew Leising, ” Wall Street, Meet Block 368396, the Future of Finance.”

Justin Brownhill, SenaHill
Justin Brownhill, SenaHill

When Justin Brownhill wants to check up on one of his latest investments through fintech merchant bank SenaHill Partners LP, he only needs to check the ledger unpinning bitcoin. The address: block 368396.

That’s the new digital home for the equity stake his firm made in Symbiont, a startup using bitcoin’s underlying blockchain software to make it quicker and easier to prove ownership of assets or transfer them between buyers and sellers.

Putting its money where its mouth is, Symbiont on Tuesday morning digitized and published several of its equity investments to the blockchain, which drives the bitcoin digital currency. That means the stakes will forever be part of that public record, allowing dividend payments or stock-option conversions to happen automatically.

“I woke up this morning and thought, ‘This is a historic moment,’” Brownhill, a managing partner at New York-based SenaHill, said in an interview after the Symbiont presentation on Tuesday. The merchant bank has investments in over a dozen other private companies. “Our job now is to go and espouse the benefits to all our portfolio companies,” he said.

Wall Street is becoming enamored with the potentially transformational way blockchain could overhaul how derivatives, bonds, loans and other asset classes work, dramatically simplifying the process of tracking ownership and accelerating the transfer of assets from one person to another.

Smart Securities

Symbiont’s innovation is creating what it calls smart securities. The company is now practicing what it preaches: its founders’ stakes as well as shares and options granted to employees have been converted into encrypted code that lives in the bitcoin blockchain — the same ledger where any purchases and sales of the digital currency are recorded. Symbiont customers can do likewise to track changes in ownership interests.

“Today is the day crypto joins Wall Street,” Symbiont Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith said to the room full of investors, bankers and reporters in New York. Representatives of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions were among the audience members.

Symbiont’s not alone in trying to bring the blockchain to Wall Street. Other firms investigating finance-related uses of blockchain include Digital Asset Holdings LLC, headed by former JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker Blythe Masters; Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.; Ripple Labs; and the New York Stock Exchange.

In June, Symbiont raised $1.25 million from a group of investors including former NYSE chief Duncan Niederauer; former Citadel LLC executive Matt Andresen; two co-founders of high-frequency trading firm Getco LLC, Dan Tierney and Stephen Schuler; and SenaHill.

For the full story from Bloomberg LP, please click here

NASDAQ Embraces Bitcoin; First Mover For Pre-IPO Application

MarketsMuse Tech Talk update profiling Wall Street’s latest embracing of Bitcoin technology and a look at 11 May announcement from NASDAQ is courtesy of extracts from CNN.com and WSJ.

The Nasdaq stock exchange is tapping Bitcoin’s powerful new transaction technology to create a more secure, efficient system to trade stocks. Step 1: Pilot to take place in fledgling Nasdaq Private Market.

High-tech bankers are starting to realize Bitcoin could revolutionize trading. Nasdaq (NDAQ), a favorite exchange among many technology companies, is making the first move.

On Monday, the stock market announced it will start using a blockchain system to keep records for its Nasdaq Private Market, which handles trading of shares in the pre-IPO phase before a company goes public.

Nasdaq sees the blockchain’s perfect recordkeeping as a major step in the right direction for more transparency. The pre-IPO market doesn’t typically see as much trading and what does occur is often by a tight circle of employees and early investors.

See more at BrokerDealer.com

bitcoin

Bitcoins Become Trading Firms’ Focus

MarketsMuse blog update profiles how the increasing interest in bitcoins is leading some investors in opening bitcoin financial services firms. Many believe that this move can help reduce the volatility and increases favorability of bitcoins.  This update is courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s article, “Big Investor Involvement Could Boost Bitcoin“, with an excerpt below.

Some of the U.S.’s biggest proprietary traders and investors are testing the waters for a bigger move into bitcoin, giving a potential boost to the fledgling virtual-currency industry.

While still cautious of becoming exposed to “cryptocurrencies,” some of the firms, which trade with their own money on the.ir own behalf, say they see potential for big profits in trading bitcoin as more investors enter the market and financial-services firms use the currency to streamline transactions.

Their involvement could help reduce volatility in the market for bitcoin, which has struggled to gain legitimacy in part because of concerns about wild swings in its price.

Among the companies at the forefront of this move is DRW Holdings LLC, a high-frequency trading firm in Chicago founded by former options-pit trader Donald Wilson in 1992. DRW is a founding investor in a new bitcoin financial-services firm called Digital Asset Holdings that launched last month. Cumberland Mining & Materials LLC, a DRW subsidiary, has “begun to experiment with cryptocurrency trading,” DRW said.

To continue reading the article on bitcoin firms from the Wall Street Journal, click here.

 

A Bitcoin sign is seen in a window in Toronto

Nasdaq Agrees To Power New Bitcoin Marketplace

MarketMuse blog update profiles Nasdaq recent agreement to power a new marketplace from bitcoin trading. Bitcoins are the largest decentralized digital currency in the market and has been taking the investment world by storm since its introduction in 2009 by its founder,  Satoshi Nakamoto. MarketMuse blog update is courtesy of Nasdaq’s article, “Nasdaq to Provide Trading Technology for Bitcoin Marketplace — Update” with excerpts from the article below. 

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. has agreed to provide New York-based startup Noble Markets with core technology to power a new marketplace aimed at allowing companies and institutional investors such as hedge funds to trade bitcoin and related digital-currency assets.

According to a joint statement provided to The Wall Street Journal, Noble’s platform will use Nasdaq’s X-stream trading system, a high-tech system for matching market participants’ orders that is used by more than 30 exchanges and marketplaces worldwide. Nasdaq will also provide marketing support.

The agreement follows other Wall Street initiatives that could pave the way for financial institutions to own and trade digital currencies, which fans say have the potential to make the global financial system more efficient but which have also been marred by price fluctuations, investment scams and cybersecurity concerns.

 

Recent developments include: the New York Stock Exchange’s investment in bitcoin exchange Coinbase; regulatory approval of public trading in the Digital Currency Group’sBitcoin Investment Fund; former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. executive Blyth Masters’ appointment to a lead new digital-asset settlement service; and news earlier Monday that former NYSE Chief Executive Duncan Niederauer will work as an adviser to bitcoin derivatives platform TeraExchange.

To read the entire article from Nasdaq, click here

bitcoin-etfs-are-coming

Change is Coming: What to Expect With Bitcoin ETF

MarketMuse update courtesy of Inside Bitcoins’ Kyle Torpey. 

Much of the bitcoin community is excited at the prospect of a bitcoin ETF due to the assumption that it could bring many new speculators into the market. After all, if everyone with access to assets traded on the NASDAQ can just as easily trade bitcoin in the same account as their other investments, it’s possible that more traditional investors may take a shot at the digital currency.

While there’s been plenty of attention on the possible Winklevoss bitcoin ETF, there hasn’t been much discussion on the effect the ETF could have on current bitcoin exchanges. Once traders have access to a regulated bitcoin ETF on the NASDAQ, why would they spend time trading on one of the frequently-hacked bitcoin exchanges?


Trading fees and unique trading options

I reached out to BTC China Senior Business Development Manager Greg Wolfson to get his reaction to the possibility of a bitcoin ETF becoming a reality in the near future. When asked what a traditional bitcoin exchange can offer that won’t be found with a bitcoin ETF, Wolfson was quick to point to zero-fee trading. The trend of offering free trading has become a popular way for new bitcoin exchanges to make a name for themselves, and this is something that simply cannot be offered by a bitcoin ETF.

When trading an ETF, you’re always going to have to pay brokerage fees and the expense ratio, which is used to pay the costs of operating the ETF. For example, GLD — on which the Winkless ETF is based — has a 0.40% expense ratio. You can bet that a bitcoin exchange will not charge you money simply for holding onto your bitcoins throughout the year — although leaving your bitcoins on an exchange for long periods of time is also not recommended.

“On the other hand, the the ETF will be regulated by the SEC and therefore, open to many types of institutional investors that are otherwise prohibited from investing in bitcoin.”

Wolfson went on to explain certain trading options that are unique to bitcoin exchanges in his full response on the matter:

“An ETF may best fulfill the needs of individuals who want to simply hold bitcoin, but exchanges still offer a diversity of trading options that set them apart. Zero-fee trading, derivatives, cross-trading with altcoins, and direct access to BTC, to name a few. On the other hand, the the ETF will be regulated by the SEC and therefore, open to many types of institutional investors that are otherwise prohibited from investing in bitcoin.”

Access to actual bitcoins

Direct access to bitcoins was another feature of bitcoin exchanges mentioned by Greg Wolfson. While you’re purchasing actual bitcoins on a traditional bitcoin exchange, such as BTC China, you’re only purchasing shares of assets owned by someone else when you buy an ETF. You cannot trade your ETF shares for actual bitcoins. If you’re looking for ownership over physical bitcoins rather than exposure to the bitcoin price, then a traditional bitcoin exchange — or even an OTC trade — will be a better option.

What about insurance?

Although Wolfson did not mention insurance in his comments regarding the bitcoin ETF, it’s possible that this could be another opportunity for bitcoin exchanges. As mentioned in a previous article, there is no insurance to be found for shareholders of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust (COIN).

As we’ve seen in the past — and as recently as a few weeks ago with the Bitstamp hack — thefts are a rather common occurrence in the bitcoin world. An exchange that decides to offer insurance for all deposits — outside of user error — could offer peace of mind to the paranoid trader who doesn’t want to worry about a possible MtGox fiasco. The only bitcoin companies that seem to be bragging about their insurance coverage publicly are Coinbase, Xapo, and Circle; none of which are useful for even moderately high frequency trading.

For the original article from Inside Bitcoins, click here

winklevii

Winklevoss Twins’ Bitcoin Trust ETF Makes Progress to go Public

MarketMuse update courtesy of extracts from Tom Lydon’s 31 December ETF Trends story.

The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler, famed for suing Mark Zuckerburg, claiming he stole Facebook from their own social networking site ConncetU, have started another new venture.  In April 2013, they claimed that they owned of 1% of all Bitcoins in existence. The Winklevoss twins now prepare to sell their Bitcoin shares on the Nasdaq.

Slowly but surely, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’ Bitcoin Trust is putting the final touches on its proposed cryptocurrency-backed exchange traded fund, filing for shares on the Nasdaq.

On Wednesday, the Bitcoin Trust filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 20.1 million shares on the Nasdaq exchange, reports Ciara Linnane for MarketWatch. The filing did not include a launch date or expense ratio, indicating the Bitcoin Trust is not close to coming to market.

In May, a regulatory filing revealed the Winkelvoss Bitcoin Trust will trade on the Nasdaq. In July, a Form S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveled the ETF, assuming it comes to life, would trade under the ticker “COIN.”

“The investment objective of the Trust is for the Shares to reflect the performance of the price of Bitcoins, as measured by Winkdex, less the expenses of the Trust’s operations,” according to the SEC filing.

The brothers have also introduced the bitcoin index, or so-called Winkdex, which will also be used to price the value of assets held by the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust.

The trust’s sponsor is Math-Based Asset Services LLC, which was formed in mid-2013. The company will run the new benchmark, tracking bitcoin prices based on “qualified bitcoin exchange transaction data… over a trailing two-hour period,” according to the SEC filing.

Bitcoin is one of the more popular digital currencies available. The cryptocurrency can be stored and traded electronically. The currency is stored in a digital wallet and is traded through a downloadable software or through a third party provider. The main thing traders should understand is that the Bitcoin is itself is considered a form of currency and not just an online service to transfer U.S. dollars.

Many users utilize the currency because the bitcoin is decentralized – there is no central bank issuing or monitoring the currency. Every transaction is validated by a Bitcoin miner – miners are entities within the Bitcoin network that validate the transaction by solving a mathematical proof. This system prevents double counting of Bitcoins and keeps a record of all transactions.

Bitcoin prices have gained widespread attention when the value of the currency skyrocketed above $1,000. However, the cryptocurrency has stumbled in 2014, declining 58.7% year-to-date to about $315.

For Lydon’s original article from ETF Trends, click here.

Bitcoin: Now Coming To a Trading Screen Near You?

bitcoin  MarketsMuse Editor Note: On the heels of the recent announcement that the proposed Bitcoin ETF aka “Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust” with slated ticker symbol COIN is about to be bankable by ETF traders and investors, below extract courtesy of Traders Magazine Online News, July 15, 2014, written by Gregg Wirth

Bitcoin, the crypto-currency that initially became infamous as the tender of choice for drug traffickers and mercenaries, may be coming to a trading desk or institutional portfolio near you – and sooner than you think.

“2014 is going to be the year Bitcoin hits Wall Street,” said Barry Silbert, founder and CEO of SecondMarket, a capital-raising platform for private companies and investment funds. Indeed, there is a growing consensus in some corners of Wall Street and the buyside community that the $7.8 billion  Bitcoin industry is going to become the new, flashy darling of investors, with dedicated digital currency funds, venture capitalists and asset managers all chasing after those 12 million bitcoins currently in circulation.

“Digital currencies like Bitcoin are not going away,” Silbert explained. “And Wall Street and the regulators know this, they’ve studied how to deal with it, and now they are starting to understand its potential.” SecondMarket has gone heavy into the Bitcoin phenomenon, launching the Bitcoin Investment Trust, a $70 million open-ended trust that invests exclusively in bitcoins, as well as a dedicated desk of 10 traders who buy and sell bitcoins for the trust and other institutional clients. SecondMarket is also creating what it hopes to be the largest, best-capitalized and well-run Bitcoin exchange in the U.S., and is enlisting banks and Bitcoin-related firms to be exchange members. Continue reading

The Anger Indicator: A Rareview

Below extract courtesy of this a.m.’s edition of Rareview Macro’s Sight Beyond Sight..(Re-published with permission from Neil Azous)

Neil Azous, Rareview Macro LLC
Neil Azous, Rareview Macro LLC

Here is an aggregation of the various statistics either sent to us from subscribers or we came across during our readings this weekend.

1.  Japan Government Pension Fund (GPIG):  Apple (AAPL), Exxon and Microsoft have the heaviest weighting in the MSCI Kokusai Index; ~87% of GPIF’s foreign stock holdings follow this benchmark. (Source:  Eurofaultlines)

2.  As far as we can tell the degree of these inflows have not yet been widely observed by other paid forecasters on the Street. EM Portfolio Inflows Reach New High In May: Our EM portfolio flows tracker indicates that portfolio inflows to emerging economies continued their upward trend of the last several months, reaching the highest level since September 2012, when the Fed launched QE3 (Chart 1). In May, EMs are estimated to have received $45 billion in portfolio inflows from global investors, up from $28 billion in April and $27 billion in March. The May figure reflects $28 billion going into EM bond markets (portfolio debt flows,Chart 2) and $17 billion into EM stock markets (portfolio equity flows, Chart 3). (Source: Institute of International Finance) Report

3.  This week the S&P 500 will surpass the 1995-96 record for number of consecutive days in which the index has traded above its 200-day moving average.

4.  SPY closed above its upper Bollinger 5 days in a row through Friday. SPY has only closed above its upper Bollinger 4 days in a row 4 times since 2009. (Source: Fat Pitch)

5.  Relative Strength Indicators (RSI)

a.  The S&P 500 (SPY) 9-day RSI is over 70 = Overbought

b.  The NASDAQ (NDX) 9-day RSI is 74 and AAPL’s is 80 = Overbought

c.  The Transports (IYT) 9-day RSI is over 77 = Overbought

d.  The Semiconductors SOX) 9-day RSI is over 70 = Overbought

6.  Since 1950, the DJIA has lost -1.9% and SPX -2.1% in June. The last 20 years have been even weaker. Moreover, the SPX has been down in 11 of the last 16 mid-term elections Junes (Source: Stock Traders Almanac).

7.  The VIX has closed below 12 for five straight days, the longest streak at that level since 2007 (Source:  Volatility Trader) Continue reading

Batter Up: New Hedge Fund For Bitcoins

FINalternatives  Below excerpt is hot of the press and courtesy of one of MarketsMuse’s favorite outlets: FINalternatives..

Coin Capital Management is this week launching a Bitcoin-focused hedge fund, which will buy and hold the leading crypto-currency in an institutional grade environment.

“We are pretty excited about Bitcoin…it is an exciting payment technology,” said Samuel Cahn, managing partner at the New York-based firm. “We are fully dedicated to holding Bitcoin, and we are the first ones to do so in an institutional grade hedge fund using the same types of checks and balances that investors have come to expect.”

For the rest of the reporting, please visit FINalternatives

Bitcoin: Debunking the Myths

tabb forum logoCourtesy of TABB Contributor Nicholas Colas, ConvergEx Group

In the rush to understand what bitcoin is – and isn’t – the public discussion on the topic has gotten a bit muddy. Here are 11 bitcoin myths and the reality under the hype and confusion.

MarketsMuse Editor Note: In deference to copyright and proprietary content protocols, below are 7 of the 11 myths characterized by Nick Colas.. Link below brings you to the full article at TABB Forum. If you are not a paying subscriber, no worries; unconfirmed rumors indicate that TABB is said to be pondering the acceptance of Bitcoins

Haters gonna hate, but the “Bitcoin bubble” meme has become the financial equivalent of a viral online cat video – wildly popular but pretty vacuous. Today we separate fact from fiction and review 11 bitcoin myths.

Myth #1: Bitcoin is huge

Myth #2: Bitcoin is a major problem in dealing with drugs and terrorism

Myth #3: Bitcoin is a currency. Reality: Bitcoin really is a cross between a mutually held company or large partnership and a money transfer business.

Myth #4: Bitcoin has never been more volatile than now, with all the attention it is getting.

Myth #6: Bitcoin is a store of value.

Myth #7: Bitcoin is untraceable.

Myth #8: Loss of anonymity will make bitcoin worthless.

To read the full article from TABB, click here.

Is a #Bitcoin ETF Next??

etftrends logo imagesCourtesy of ETF Trends’ Tom Lydon

Bitcoins, a type of highly encrypted digital currency, are surging on a wave of speculation and demand for alternative currencies as central banks continue to print.

Could we soon see the launch of a Bitcoin ETF? It’s an interesting idea, but experts say don’t hold your breath.

Bitcoins, which trade hands online, have surged over 14% in the past week, reports Jeff Cox for CNBC. The digital currency has jumped to $250. The Bitcoin is a type of decentralized digital currency based on a peer-to-peer network and can be exchanged through computers internationally without a financial intermediary. The system was first introduced by developer Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.

As the digital currency gains momentum, some have floated the idea of a ETF backed by Bitcoins. Alternatively, Bitcoins could be a candidate for the exchange traded note structure, but the sponsoring bank would have to be willing to back the appreciation or depreciation of the Bitcoin currency. What started off as a joke, may not seem like a joke at all.

“With global BitCoin exposure north of $2 billion and global currencies on the verge of a valuation war one has to wonder how this new asset is going to make its way into our lives,” said Chris Hempstead, director of ETF execution services at WallachBeth Capital.

Nevertheless, Hempstead does not believe Bitcoins can be structured to fit the ETF vehicle. For instance, if a Bitcoin ETF were to act like another currency offering, it would require futures contracts.

“You’d need securities that are based in Bitcoins,” Hempstead said. “Since the Bitcoin is unregulated and no futures exist, an ETF is not possible today.”

For the full article from ETF Trends, please click here