Fed Report: Bitcoin Futures Creation and Fall of Cryptocurrency Was No Coincidence 137

Last December’s introduction of Bitcoin futures, which gave investors an opportunity to bet against the value of the coin, played a large role in the late-2017 and early-2018 price decline, according to the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Bitcoin’s Connection With Futures Markets

In the economic letter from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, published today May 7, the authors conclude that the rapid run-up and subsequent fall in the price of Bitcoin after the introduction of futures is far from a coincidence. Rather, it is consistent with trading behavior that typically accompanies the introduction of futures markets for an asset — a situation comparable to the securitization of bonds in the early 2000s.

“The subsequent bust was driven by the creation of instruments that allowed pessimistic investors to bet against the housing market,” the Federal Reserve wrote. “Similarly, the advent of blockchain introduced a new financial instrument, Bitcoin, which optimistic investors bid up, until the launch of Bitcoin futures allowed pessimists to enter the market, which contributed to the reversal of the Bitcoin price dynamics.”

Federal banking policymakers have been dismissive, especially in recent months, of Bitcoin as an alternative currency to the dollar or other central bank-backed money. San Francisco Fed President John Williams, who next month will move to New York to run the Fed there, has been particularly critical: “One of the problems they have is the values are extremely volatile,” Williams said in April of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

CME Group & Cboe Global Markets

On December 17, CME Group Inc. became the second exchange — behind the Cboe Global Markets Inc. — to list Bitcoin futures. This date coincided with the all-time high (ATH) price of Bitcoin, which at the time was trading at around $20,000.

The authors of the report, Galina Hale, Arvind Krishnamurthy, Marianna Kudlyak, and Patrick Shultz, said the introduction of futures ended the ‘one-sided speculative demand.’ That said, the lack of capitulation was down to the early limited volumes in the futures market, something futures analyst Bob Fitzsimmons believes to be a valid argument:

“Firms were very cautious. They didn’t want it going from 10,000 to a 100,000. So, there wasn’t what I would call wild speculation,” Fitzsimmons, managing director and head of Wedbush Futures, a financial services firm that publishes reports on cryptocurrencies, said. 

Moving Forward

Moving forward, the Federal Reserve argue that real-world applications of Bitcoin as a border-less, low fee medium of exchange — which they call ‘transactional benefits’ — will be the biggest factor in determining the coin’s price. They write:

“While we understand some of the factors that play a role in determining the long-run price of Bitcoin, our understanding of the transactional benefits of Bitcoin is too imprecise to quantify this long-run price. But as speculative dynamics disappear from the Bitcoin market, the transactional benefits are likely to be the factor that will drive valuation.”

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Prescryptive Health Announces Free COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Solution to Support Independent Pharmacies Nationwide 4472

Prescryptive Health, a healthcare technology company, announced a free vaccine scheduling solution for pharmacies across the country. This service builds on their successful COVID-19 testing partnership with the State of New York, and will be available nationwide beginning today. The initiative is part of a larger commitment by Prescryptive Health to empower pharmacists and consumers through its digital platform to improve the way healthcare is delivered, making it more affordable and accessible to all.

“Local pharmacies play a critical role providing vaccines, yet they don’t have a solution that can meet their needs and address their specific challenges with COVID-19 vaccines,” said Chris Blackley, CEO of Prescryptive Health. “Our solution closes that gap, is easy to use and is now available at no cost to pharmacies nationwide.”

Prescryptive’s scheduling solution is designed for pharmacists by pharmacists to provide the security, flexibility, and ease-of-use required to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in today’s fluid environment. Pharmacists can configure when and where they provide vaccines, customize patient screening criteria to comply with state and local guidelines, and manage patient demand with a new “waitlist” function that allows them to invite patients directly for appointments to prevent over-booking. Equally important, Prescryptive’s solution is architected on blockchain, fully encrypted, and HIPAA-compliant.

Patient success has also been engineered into Prescryptive’s solution. The mobile-first design allows patients to minimize time spent onsite at the pharmacy and to receive real-time notifications from pharmacists when appointments become available. Patients receive a digital proof of their vaccination with links to additional health and safety information—including the CDC v-safe program. Beginning in April, patients will also have the ability to book appointments directly with a local pharmacy at MyRx.io.

Huobi Tech’s Subsidiary Huobi Asset Management Got the Approval to Launch 100% Virtual Asset Funds and Plans to Launch 3 Virtual Asset Funds 4409

Huobi Technology Holdings Limited (“Huobi Tech” or the “Company”, stock code: 1611), is pleased to announce that Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Huobi Asset Management”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has obtained the Securities and Futures Commission’s (the “SFC”) approval to manage and distribute 100% virtual asset funds with effect from 3 March 2021. Huobi Asset is the second licensed virtual asset manager in Hong Kong to fall under the SFC’s “Proforma Terms and Conditions for Licensed Corporations which Manage Portfolios that Invest in Virtual Assets” (“T&C”) since October 2019.

As the first licensed virtual asset fund manager approved by the SFC to issue virtual asset funds with an active investment strategy, it is the first virtual asset fund manager in the Hong Kong market to accept fiat currency or virtual asset subscription channels. Huobi Asset Management plans to launch three virtual asset funds: BTC tracker fund, ETH tracker fund, and multi-strategy virtual asset fund. Besides, Huobi Asset Management is launching its multi-asset fund with 10% allocation to virtual assets whilst 90% into traditional assets such as equities and fixed income.

A senior investment team will manage Huobi Asset Management’s virtual asset funds. The main business partners include Sidley Austin, Mourant, DBS, Fidelity Digital, and other world-renowned institutions. Ms. Gillian Wu, CEO of Huobi Asset Management, said, “We aim to provide various choices to investors with different risk appetites. We have covered comprehensive perspectives through in-depth dialogues with SFC and made full preparations on corresponding solutions. We are confident that our funds could offer one of the most secure and reliable channels for Professional Investors to access this novel asset class conveniently.”

The management of Huobi Tech said, “We are delighted that Huobi Asset Management team has secured such a breakthrough. The approval’s timing is perfect, coinciding with the mainstream institutional adoption of virtual assets starting from this year. We will continue to explore the possibility of diversifying our businesses in relevant areas to enhance our growth prospects and bring long-term sustainable returns to our shareholders.”

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 4838

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.

The9 Appointed Cai ZhiFang as the CEO of NBTC Limited to Lead the Development of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Business 4758

The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) (“The9”), an established Internet company, today announced the appointment of Cai Zhifang as the Chief Executive Officer of NBTC Limited (hereinafter referred to as “NBTC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The9, to lead the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency business in NBTC. Mr. Cai has been on board.

Mr. Cai is an early pioneer in the blockchain industry. In 2013, Mr. Cai co-founded YiBit Digital Technology Company Limited, one of the earliest integrated platforms in blockchain industry in China. In 2015, Mr. Cai served as the general manager of WeiTui Technology Limited Company, which self-operated Bitcoin mining by the purchase of AvalonMiners from Canaan. The peak hash rate managed by Mr. Cai at that time accounted for nearly 4% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin. Afterwards Mr. Cai established a strategic partnership with Canaan, responsible for assisting its customers in establishing, operating and maintaining AvalonMiners. At that time Mr. Cai managed and operated more than 300,000 AvalonMiners, with an accumulative hash rate exceeding 5,000 PH/S, accounted for nearly 5% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin at that time.

After joining the NBTC team, Mr. Cai will be responsible for leading the expansion of NBTC blockchain and cryptocurrency business, making full use of his industry experience and resources to formulate and execute NBTC’s business strategy, and to implement the cooperation between NBTC and worldwide cryptocurrency ecosystem partners with the goal to accelerate the establishment of The9’s global leadership in the cryptocurrency industry.

In January this year, The9 announced the establishment of the wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC to engage in blockchain and cryptocurrency related businesses. Immediately within two months, Bitcoin and Filecoin mining machines had been acquired as the first step to build The9’s cryptocurrencies mining business.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited (The9) is an Internet company based in China listed on Nasdaq in 2004. The9 aims to become a diversified high-tech Internet company.

Online Blockchain plc: Umbria DeFi Platform Announces First Airdrop of its UMBR Token 5130

Decentralised Finance (DeFi) protocol Umbria is airdropping 100,000 of its governance utility tokens to its users. Umbria, an opensource project on a mission to demystify and simplify DeFi and get people earning income on their crypto, will be rewarding eligible crypto enthusiasts with its tokens. Holders of UMBR tokens – available on Uniswap – or UMBR-ETH Liquidity Pool tokens (tokens issued for adding liquidity to the UMBR-ETH pool on decentralized cryptocurrency exchange Uniswap) on March 1st, 2021 will be able to participate in the airdrop. They will need to have a Metamask wallet.

UMBR and UMBR-ETH LP holders (minimum 100 UMBR or 2 UMBR-ETH LP) simply have to visit airdrop.umbria.network and press the “Claim Airdrop” button to get their share of the airdrop. The tokens will then be distributed directly into their Metamask wallets on April 2nd, 2021. The airdrop will be on chain facilitated by Ethereum Smart Contracts.

Users of the Umbria platform will soon be able to swap tokens and earn interest on their cryptocurrency positions on the Umbria website with other facilities coming online which will utilise the Umbria protocol and its utility token. UMBR tokens will give holders the ability to shape the future of the Umbria ecosystem itself.

“The Umbria project is a collective effort, which is already gaining good traction and seeing a lot of interest,” said Oscar Chambers, Co-Lead Developer at Umbria. “This first airdrop is a great way to reward existing participants and encourage more early adoption of Umbria, which will hopefully be a steppingstone to unlocking the mass adoption of DeFi.”

Margex Launches Globally and Announces $1,000,000 Bonus Giveaway Campaign Making Cryptocurrency Derivatives Trading More Accessible 6431

Margex announces its global launch. Along with the launch, every new client will be able to try Margex for free, with an included $100 bonus to settle trading commissions and funding fees on the platform. During the promotional campaign, Margex plans to distribute up to $1,000,000 in bonuses for a total of 10,000 users.

  • 100X scalable leverage for all of its trading pairs such as BTC, ETH, XRP, EOS, LTC, and YFI;
  • Combined liquidity of multiple liquidity aggregators, allowing for the best possible entry and exit prices;
  • AI-based Price Manipulation Protection systems, monitoring for irregularities across all trading pairs and mitigating the risk of accidental liquidations and short-squeezes;
  • Bank-grade security;
  • Scale-on-demand infrastructure, capable of handling up to 100,000 transactions per second;
  • High-Class User Interface.

Margex’s goal is to provide traders with a world-class user experience, a fair, secure, and easy-to-use trading platform with the highest class of financial technologies in the world. The platform has received a lot of positive feedback from various trading communities for the deep liquidity achieved through the combination of multiple liquidity providers, extremely fast order execution speeds, and an MP-Shield system that uses artificial intelligence to automatically detect irregularities in the trade feed submitted by liquidity pools, eliminating the risk of accidental liquidations.