Xi to the rescue
After BTC managed to avert the death cross danger a few days ago, it has seen a strong 25% price increase last week buoyed by positive comments on blockchain technology by Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Surprisingly, China has been traditionally hostile to cryptocurrencies and banned all forms of crypto trading in late 2017, citing investor protection as the primary reason. However, industry experts believe that the ban was in fact imposed to pave the way for a state-owned digital currency pegged to RMB, which is set to launch early next year.
While Xi Jinping’s comments are a strong validation of the positive impact that blockchain technology can make in the form of faster and more transparent transfer of money, it looks like the “Blockchain, but not Bitcoin” discourse has seemingly from moved from the confines of the crypto sphere to nation states. It might in fact set a bad precedent to other countries by encouraging them to ban public blockchains such Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc. with centralized nation-backed digital currencies.
Bakkt Volume Surge And Options Launch
After a tepid launch, Bakkt saw a steep growth in trading volume as it surged from a trivial $700k on Tuesday to $4.8 million the next day. The surge was perhaps triggered by the precipitous decline in BTC price from $8k to $7.5k in a few seconds. The same price decine liquidated contracts worth of $200 mn on Bitmex. Less than a month ago, BTC’s $1k price slide liquidated over $650 mn worth long contracts on Bitmex. BTC’s capricious price movements are causing massive liquidations on derivatives exchanges.
Bakkt is following CME’s path and announced the launch of BTC options next year. Rival CME is targeting the launch of options for Q1 2020. Bakkt’s soft launch raised concerns about the real interest of institutions in digital asset trading, while the growth a f the announcements post have gone some way towards allaying those concerns.