Market Update – 05 Feb
Welcome back to another Australian crypto market update. It’s been a busy week at IR. On Monday we launched our new insurance product, something that has been 5 years in the making. A lot of time was spent with regulators, auditors and insurance underwriters to bring a product that only a handful of crypto firms can offer globally. It makes a significant statement to the rest of the financial industry that crypto is a now bona fide asset class. Top tier auditors and the biggest insurance underwriter in the world not only acknowledge crypto but are offering their services to well governed firms in this space.
As a client of IR this means that you now have the option of additional peace of mind when trading and storing your crypto assets on the Independent Reserve exchange. To read more about our insurance offerings and trading fee discounts, see our Premium Account plans page.
Now back to markets
The crypto selloff we saw two weeks ago which happened to coincide with the Fed hiking rates and a subsequent tandem fall in equities seems to have been just a coincidence. Rate forecasts have since been revised down, risk is back on, equities have more than recovered its losses and yet Bitcoin has remained at the same levels. We are still to see some form of correlation there. The good news is that the Bitcoin price has held its ground for two weeks now, with any luck, it’s feeling out a bottom.
For the week, Bitcoin closed pretty much flat and most of the top alts finished in the green. BCH and LTC, our two top performers closed up 6% and 9.2% respectively. XRP was perhaps the most interesting, rallying over 15% after a couple of positive announcements, only to give most of the gains back and finish the week up just under 2% – more on that later.
Crypto Sydney Panel from left to right: David Jackson (Crypto Sydney organiser and host), Adrian Przelozny (CEO, Independent Reserve), Fred Schebesta (co-founder, Finder.com), Craig Cobb (MD, Trader Cobb), Grant Colthup (CEO, Poiesis Capital)
Australian ICO, PlayChip lists on Independent Reserve
PlayUp, a Sydney based gaming company launched their ERC20 based utility token PlayChip last year. The tokens are used to transact across multiple gaming, sports betting, fantasy sports and eSports platforms. The ecosystem already supports close to 1 million users over 70 countries and sponsor South Sydney Rabbitohs, cricket legend Brett Lee and MMA star Robert Whittaker.
IMF director praises Circle and XRP for spurring change in banking systems
International Monetary Fund director Christine Lagarde spoke at the Paris Fintech Festival, stating that banking systems as we know it will be ‘cannibalized’ by change driven from disruptive technologies from crypto companies Circle and XRP, specifically products xCurrent and xRapid. Just a day earlier, financial payments provider SWIFT announced a partnership with blockchain firm R3, which uses XRP. XRP rallied almost 15% after the news.
Canadian exchange CEO dies, possibly taking the private keys with him
QuadrigaCX, a large Canadian crypto exchange, has been in the press this week after CEO Gerald Cotten died late last year. Allegedly Mr Cotton had sole access to the exchange’s cold storage wallets which contain around AU$260m worth of crypto assets. QuadrigaCX customers have taken legal proceedings with Gerald Cotten’s wife appearing in the hot seat. There are plenty of conspiracies floating around the web that point to an elaborate exit scam. If it isn’t an exit scam, the tragedy highlights an extreme lack of competency in storing and securing client assets.
Kraken acquires UK crypto futures firm
US crypto exchange Kraken has acquired UK futures provider Crypto Facilities. The deal was worth upwards of US$100m and Kraken has already made progress integrating the two exchanges to operate on a single platform, however it won’t be available for its US client base. This means that Kraken clients outside of the US will soon be able to trade CME Group Bitcoin futures and gain access to up to 50x leverage on those positions.
Separately, Kraken has just finished a US$100m capital raise. The raise was targeted at existing high net worth clients and loyal Kraken users. It’s very positive to see this sort of money being raised without the need to go down traditional Venture Capital routes.
Marcus Ochmann – Head of OTC Trading