After posting small gains yesterday, the market immediately pulledback. Bitcoin lost nearly $60 yesterday. However, it is now once again back above $3,600. While $3,600 has been a good support, it is not clear if it is strong enough to rescue Bitcoin every time. The total market cap lost about $500 Million in the last 24 hours and most of the coins have changed by less than 1%.
In other news, Steemit has announced that Elizabeth Powell will become the blockchain startup’s new managing director. The crypto-startup which once reigned as the primary decentralized alternative to Reddit lost more than 93 percent of its value over 2018 and fired nearly 70% of its staff. Also, the European Union’s law enforcement agency has snagged an alleged crypto-criminal. Europol has arrested an individual who is suspected of stealing 10 million euro worth of IOTA coins. The crime occurred in January 2018 by a hacker who tricked IOTA token holders with a fake website claiming to generate private seed passwords.
1) The CBOE has withdrawn its application to list the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust on the CBOE BZC exchange. A document published by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that the CBOE withdrew its application on January 22 and no explanation for the withdraw was provided. Many in the crypto-community believe the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF is the best-prepared product that complies with the SEC’s regulations. (Read More)
2) Jan van Eck, the CEO of VanEck told CNBC that the current U.S. government shutdown negatively impacted the ability of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to interact with all applicants seeking approval of a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Jan van Eck said that all discussions relevant to the proposal were “subject to subsequent approval delays and had to stop.” van Eck further explained that “we were engaged in discussions with the SEC about Bitcoin-related issues, custody, market manipulation, prices, and that had to stop. And so, instead of trying to slip through or something, we just had the application pulled.” van Eck said the firm would attempt to “re-file and re-engage in the discussion when the SEC gets going again.” CNBC’s Bob Pisani asked van Eck if the application would have been rejected regardless of the shutdown and van Eck said, “we think we actually have pretty solid answers to those [questions], but we just need to really demonstrate it very, very clearly and convincingly to the regulators.” The VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF is not the only application impacted by the current government shutdown. Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures exchange and ErisX exchange are both awaiting approval from the Commodity Futures Exchange Commission (CFTC) and it is unlikely that either will be approved as the U.S Treasury and SEC are currently operating on a skeleton staff. This is a developing story that will be updated as more information becomes available. (Read More)
3) Blockchain technology firm Bitfury has released new development tools for Bitcoin Lightning network. It includes an open-source lightning wallet, hardware and software tools for merchants, developer tools, and a public lightning node called “The Peach” to open or create payment channels. The lightning network is an off-chain scaling solution which can enable almost-instant transactions at a very low cost. The tools were built by The Peach team, Bitfury’s internal team that focuses on Lightning network. Just last week, Bitfury integrated lightning network with cryptocurrency exchange BTCBIT. Known for its specialized mining hardware, Bitfury raised $80 Million in its funding round in November. (Read More)