TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. JPMorgan detects “high anticipation” for CME Bitcoin options. LedgerX in disarray after executive ousting. Bakkt cash-settled bitcoin futures sets record. Bitcoin not correlated with gold, study finds. Decentralized exchanges trading volumes fell in December, and Binance launches Thai gateway.
JPMorgan Detects “High Anticipation” for CME Bitcoin Options
JPMorgan detected a new wave of interest for the upcoming launch of Bitcoin options by the CME. A note written by Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, a strategist for JPMorgan, declares there has been a “step increase in the activity of the underlying CME futures contract,” with open interest rising 69% since last year’s end. “This unusually strong activity over the past few days likely reflects the high anticipation among market participants,” the JPMorgan strategist concluded.
LedgerX in Disarray After Executive Shakedown
LedgerX, the US-based bitcoin derivatives exchange, is facing tough times after having ousted Paul Chou, the founder and CEO of the exchange, who previously announced the launch of physically-backed bitcoin futures last year. A board member wrote a letter to the CFTC, stating the company’s “board is engaged in grossly negligent actions towards LedgerX market participants, employees, shareholders, and perhaps even CFTC compliance requirements.” The director also noted he withdrew his funds from the company.
Bakkt Cash-Settled Bitcoin Futures Sets Volume Record in December
Bakkt™ Bitcoin (USD) Cash Settled Futures contract wrapped up December with a total of 18,946 contracts traded, setting a daily volume record of 2,224 contracts on December 16: https://t.co/Zn4xSTBObr pic.twitter.com/y6TTkwgEJz
— ICE (@ICE_Markets) January 12, 2020
Bakkt, the first US exchange that offered physically delivered bitcoin futures, reported their first cash-settled futures, launched last December 9, have fared pretty well. Bakkt declared almost 19,000 cash-settled contracts were traded in December, giving an average of 2,200 contracts changing hands per day. This new instrument launched by Bakkt with support of ICE Singapore seems to be geared to complete the portfolio of the trading desk to offer a full suite of solutions for the brand to compete with the likes of most established rivals CBOE and CME.
Bitcoin Not Correlated with Gold
Despite the recent narrative trying to hold bitcoin as a digital replacement for gold, research data states otherwise. According to an article from LongHash, bitcoin and gold have had a very low degree of correlation from the beginning. According to price behavior, bitcoin still has long ways to go before being on par with a traditional, mature store of value such as gold. However, as a digital asset, bitcoin has managed to perform as a relatively safe investment.
Decentralized Exchange Trading Volumes Fell in December
The trading volumes for non custodial, decentralized exchanges experienced a drop in December, according to an investigative article published by The Block. The group of exchanges composed of EtherDelta, Kyber Network, and Binance DEX, among others, managed to snag only $180 million traded in December. “The lack of liquidity, simplicity, as well as blockchain constraints, are among the reasons non-custodial exchanges haven’t caught on yet,” Larry Cermak, author of the article, stated.
Binance Adds Support for Thai Baht
Binance, the biggest crypto exchange in traded volumes, announced they will be partnering with Satang corporation, another exchange in Thailand, to launch a fiat gateway to let users buy cryptocurrencies with bank transfers. Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, has repeatedly referred to the potential importance these kinds of services could have, stating “more than 99.9% of the global money supply is still in fiat and we need to continue building bridges to enable easier flow into crypto,” as a way of fostering adoption.
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