Posted on

Stellar Lumens Is About to Begin Trading on Coinbase Pro

The Stellar lumen has just become the latest cryptocurrency to be listed on Coinbase’s professional exchange.

Coinbase Pro announced Wednesday that it was accepting deposits of XLM, with trading support coming once sufficient liquidity is established. The process will take a minimum of 12 hours, according to a blog post.

The cryptocurrency is not yet available on Coinbase’s retail platforms, including coinbase.com or its Android and iOS apps.

Stellar was started by Ripple co-founder Jed McCaleb, with lumens aimed at being part of a low-cost payment network.

According to Coinbase’s blog post, “since its launch in 2014, its vision has been to unite the world’s financial infrastructure so that money can flow quickly and cheaply between banks, businesses, and people. The Internet connected the world’s computers so that information could be shared globally. Stellar aims to do the same for money.”

Coinbase Pro first announced it was considering XLM last December, when the exchange identified more than 30 digital assets it was looking into supporting. Since its initial announcement, the platform has added support for Civic, District0x, Loom Network, Decentraland, XRP, Dai, Golem network and zilliqa.

The price of XLM/USD has increased just over 30 percent in the past four days – 5 percent of which came after Coinbase Pro’s announcement Wednesday – and is currently trading at $0.11, according to CoinDesk price data.

Stellar is the 12th most-traded cryptocurrency in the past 24 hours, accumulating a total of roughly $140 billion in trading volume, according to CoinDesk’s price page.

Jed McCaleb image via CoinDesk archives

Posted on

Coinbase Exchange Users Can Buy and Sell XRP Starting Tomorrow

Crypto exchange Coinbase is launching support for XRP, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

The exchange announced Monday it would be listing XRP on its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro, in “transfer-only” mode, meaning customers can only deposit tokens to begin with. After a minimum of 12 hours, the company plans to activate other trading services, though this timeline is variable.

Initially, Coinbase Pro customers in the U.S. (excluding New York state), the UK, some EU nations, Canada, Singapore and Australia will be able to access XRP, with support for other jurisdictions possibly being added in the future.

While no firm timeline for launching support on Coinbase’s retail platforms (coinbase.com, as well as its Android and iOS apps) was given, the exchange typically launches cryptocurrencies for its non-professional users within a few weeks of launching support on Coinbase Pro.

“The [XRP] ledger is powered by a network of peer-to-peer servers. All accounts on this network can send or receive XRP to/from each other, while XRP can be used to send underlying fiat currencies between two parties,” a Coinbase blog post said, adding:

“In this way, XRP can function as a bridge currency in transactions involving different currencies such as US dollars, Japanese yen, Euros, Francs, and others in use on the XRP network.”

An individual familiar with Coinbase’s internal decision-making process said the company “is prepared to support the asset however it’s classified by regulators,” referring to the open question of whether XRP qualifies as a security.

Ripple Labs, its subsidiary XRP II and a number of individuals affiliated with the XRP cryptocurrency are currently defendants in a federal class-action lawsuit alleging that XRP is a security issued by the payments startup, a claim that Ripple has denied.

Brian Armstrong onstage at Techcrunch Disrupt London in 2014 interviewed by Alex Wilhelm. 

Posted on

Countdown Restarts Tomorrow for SEC Decision on CBOE-VanEck Bitcoin ETF

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may make an initial decision on not one, but two different bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETFs) proposals by April 5.

A bitcoin ETF proposal submitted (for a second time) by VanEck, SolidX and the Cboe BZX Exchange is expected to be formally published in the Federal Register Wednesday, kicking off the initial 45-day clock for approval, rejection or extension. The proposal was first posted on the SEC’s website on Feb. 13.

Once the proposal is officially published, the general public will have three weeks from Feb. 20 (meaning until March 13) to file their initial responses to it. Then the SEC will have another three weeks, until April 5, to make a decision or give itself an extension.

At the moment, the proposal appears in the Public Inspection section of the Federal Register website, meaning it has not yet been officially published. As the current page notes, “only official editions of the Federal Register provide legal notice to the public and judicial notice to the courts,” while the most recent version of the proposal itself says that it is scheduled to be published Wednesday.

The VanEck/SolidX proposal will join one filed by Bitwise Investment Management and NYSE Arca, which was published in the Federal Register on Feb. 15, meaning the SEC has until the beginning of April to decide on it or postpone the decision.

The Bitwise/NYSE Arca proposal was previously filed last year, and was widely expected to be the first proposal to be approved by the U.S. securities regulator. However, this proposal was withdrawn during the longest U.S. government shutdown in history and re-filed at the end of January.

If approved, an ETF could potentially bring new liquidity into a bitcoin market that is starting to show signs of recovery. However, it’s important to remember that the SEC can give itself up to three extensions on any rule change proposal, meaning it could still be months before a final decision is reached on either ETF.

Early feedback

While the formal comment period has not officially opened yet, the VanEck/SolidX proposal is already receiving feedback.

The filing’s first response, listed as from Sam Ahn at Hana Trading, asks how the companies are defining bitcoin’s intrinsic value. The question of intrinsic value is important for investors who may consider buying into the ETF, Ahn explains.

Ahn’s response links to seven previous responses on different ETF proposals, all of which also question bitcoin’s intrinsic value.

Gabor Gurbacs, VanEck’s digital asset strategy lead, declined to comment on this response.

Gabor Gurbacs image via CoinDesk archives

Posted on

Funds in Short Positions on Bitcoin Drop to 6-Month Low

The amount of money allocated to short bets against bitcoin fell to a more than 6-month low during Tuesday’s trading session, data from the popular cryptocurrency trading platform Bitfinex reveals.

At 13:00 UTC today, the total funding in BTC shorts, or positions that would profit from a decline in the price of the underlying bitcoin asset, fell beyond the recent low of 18,992 BTC set this past November to reach 18,888 BTC – the lowest amount seen since Aug. 4, 2018.

The development comes a day after bitcoin’s price increased 8 percent, which likely trapped investors with a bearish outlook on the wrong side of the market, causing them to cover a large number of short positions.

Current figures show a 28 percent drop in the amount of funds in bitcoin shorts since the beginning of the day yesterday.

Interestingly, bullish bets on Bitfinex, known as “longs,” have also witnessed a sharp decline in the past 48 hours.

Data from Bitfinex further reveals the amount of BTC/USD longs have dropped by a similar 29 percent from yesterday’s high, which is likely a sign of investors are deleveraging, or taking profit after bitcoin’s near 18 percent price increase over the past 11 days.

As it stands, the ratio of long to short positions is 1.42 to 1, meaning there are 1.42 BTC in a long position per every 1 BTC is a short position on Bitfinex. The ratio is a slight decline from the most recent high of 1.54 to 1 set on Feb. 15.

As previous analysis from CoinDesk notes, an unusually high long/short ratio can be a sign of an impending “long squeeze,” or rapid covering of long positions which increases the rate at which price declines. However, the current ratio of 1.42 is lower than both the ratio of 1.8 to 1 set in August and the all-time high ratio of 3.74 to 1 set in February of 2018.

Disclosure: The author holds BTC, LTC, ETH, ZEC, AST, REQ, OMG, FUEL, ZIL, 1st and AMP at the time of writing.

Teddy-bear-ill image via Shutterstock; charts by TradingView

Posted on

Bullish Sentiment for Bitcoin As Long Bets Near 11-Month Highs

Bullish bets on bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by value, reached 11-month highs on Monday, according to the data from the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex.

The number of long positions on bitcoin’s US dollar-denominated exchange rate (BTC/USD) jumped to 38,237 BTC at 04:10 BTC – the highest level since March 30, 2018 – and were last seen at 36,176 BTC.

While long positions have risen by 35 percent in the last three weeks, short positions have remained largely unchanged. As a result, the long-short ratio, a barometer of market sentiment, has improved to 1.5 from 1.18.

The market mood has indeed turned bullish but hasn’t reached extremes, as long positions are still at least 8 percent short of the record high of 40,193 registered on March 26, 2018.

That said, BTC’s rally to 5.5-week highs above $3,900 has likely opened the doors to a convincing move above $4,000. That would only attract buyers, pushing BTC/USD longs to fresh record highs.

As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $3,912 on Bitfinex, the highest level since Jan. 10. The cryptocurrency would become vulnerable to “long squeeze” –  a sudden pullback in prices due to an unwinding of long positions – if and when the bullish sentiment reaches extremes.

Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.

Bitcoin image via Shutterstock; charts by Trading View