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Survey: Half of Millennial Investors Trust Crypto Exchanges More Than Stock Exchanges

A new survey from investment platform eToro has revealed that 43 percent of millennial traders trust traditional stock exchanges less than crypto exchanges.

Nearly half of millennial traders have more trust in digital currency exchanges than in United States (U.S.) stock market exchanges. Data regarding millennial investment attitudes was collected in a new study from investment platform eToro and published on Feb. 19.

Per the report, 43 percent of the surveyed millenial online traders demonstrate less trust in the traditional stock market, while having more faith in cryptocurrency exchanges. 93 percent of millennial cryptocurrency traders reportedly said that they would invest more in digital currency if traditional financial institutions proposed such an option. At the same time, 71 percent of millennials that do not trade cryptocurrency said that they would begin if it were offered by conventional institutions.

Managing Director of eToro U.S., Guy Hirsch, said that the market is now witnessing a generation shift in trust from traditional stock exchanges to digital currency ones. “Immutability is native to blockchains and that makes real-time audit to be sensible and cost-effective and that is why millennials and Gen X perceive crypto exchanges as less likely to be subject to manipulation and less likely to be a place where bad actors get rewarded with taxpayer money,” Hirsch explained.

45 percent of the respondents expressed interest in allocating cryptocurrency in their 401(k) retirement savings plans, and 74 percent of digital currency traders would like to receive that option from their 401(k) plan providers.

The research was conducted by market research and strategy firm Provoke Insights on behalf of eToro in September 2018. Throughout the course of the study, the company surveyed 1,000 online investors from ages 20 to 65. The company notes that the margin of error is around 3 percent.

Research published last November revealed that cryptocurrency investing is most popular among millennials earning from $75,000 to $99,999 annually. The survey collected responses from over 1,000 Americans between ages 18 and 80. Almost 40 percent of respondents cited peer influence as a main reason for investing in crypto, and over 35 percent have reportedly been lured into the crypto market by the “Fear of Missing Out.”

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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

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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

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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

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Most Cryptos See Gentle Green Amid Exceedingly Calm Market Picture

Virtually all of the top 20 coins by market cap are seeing fluctuations of within 2 percent in both directions on the day.

Saturday, Feb. 16: Cryptocurrencies are seeing mild price action, with virtually all of the top 20 coins by market cap seeing fluctuations of within 2 percent in both directions on the day, as data from Coin360 shows.

Market visualization by Coin360Market visualization by Coin360

Top cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) has seen fractional 0.37 percent growth on the day and is trading at $3,631 to press time, according to CoinMarketCap data. On its 7-day chart, the coin has jaggedly traded downward from an intraweek peak of almost $6,700 on Feb. 11 to a low of $3,610 on Feb. 14 — subsequently recuperating some of its losses. On the month, the coin has seen virtually no movement, trading down by a mild 0.8 percent in value.Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCapBitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) — holding on to its newly-regained position as largest altcoin by market cap — is up around 1 percent on the day to trade at roughly $123 to press time. The altcoin has seen moderate and consistent growth over the past seven days, bringing its weekly gains to just over 4 percent.

On the month, Ethereum is similarly stable, trading at virtually the same price point (0.4 percent down) as in mid-January.Ethereum 1-month price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum 1-month price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

In the latest Ethereum core dev call, ETH co-founder Vitalik Buterin and others have dismissed allegations that a new smart contract creation feature set to be released in the forthcoming Constantinople hard fork will have negative security implications.

Also this week, Chicago-based crypto exchange ErisX submitted its comments to the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, arguing in favor of regulated ETH futures contracts.

Ripple (XRP) — like its larger market cap counterparts — is seeing virtually no price change on the day, and is trading around $0.301 at press time. Up a fractional 0.5 percent over the past 24 hours, the asset is down a mild 2 percent on the week. Monthly losses are starker, at close to 9 percent.

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Industry commentators have this week discussed whether United States banking giant JPMorgan Chase’s newly-announced settlement stablecoin could pose a direct threat to XRP’s future. Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has refuted these concerns, arguing that the so-dubbed JMP Coin “misses the point” of cryptocurrency.

A major exception among the remaining top 20 coins is Litecoin (LTC), which has has seen close to 4 percent in growth on the day to trade at $43.83. The altcoin has thus again dislodged EOS and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as fourth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which it holds with a market cap of around $990 million.

EOS, now ranked fifth, is today seeing solid growth, up a solid 2.4 percent on the day to trade at $2.85. Privacy-focused crypto Monero (XMR), ranked 13th, is the only other major altcoin to see discernible growth — gaining about 2 percent on the day to trade at $48.16.

The heaviest top twenty loser meanwhile is Maker (MKR), ranked 17th, which is down 1.6 percent to trade at $509.65.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is around $121 billion as of press time, up a fractional 0.25 percent on the week.

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

7-day chart of the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies from CoinMarketCap

In other cryptocurrency news, major crypto brokerage Coinmama — which allows users to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using a credit card — has revealed it suffered a major data breach affecting 450,000 of its users.

And in adoption news, Liberstad — a private, anarcho-capitalist city in Norway — has adopted a cryptocurrency native to its blockchain-powered smart city platform. The new crypto will be the city’s official medium of exchange, with national fiat currencies to be prohibited.