Crypto Tidbits: Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Inbound, NASA Hints at Blockchain Ambitions, Libra in Hot Water
Another week, another of Crypto Tidbits. While Bitcoin (BTC) effectively ended the week where it started in terms of price, the underlying market saw a flurry of developments that may only have positive effects on the adoption of cryptocurrency.
Bakkt is poised to launch its Bitcoin futures on Monday, “Big Four” auditing giant Deloitte embraced cryptocurrencies in a really odd way, Square Crypto completed a star-studded developer team to help bring Bitcoin to the world, and the CME has announced its intentions to delve even further into the crypto market.
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Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits
NASA in Search of Scientist with Crypto & Blockchain Experience: Bitcoin investors talk much of going to the moon, but they often don’t mean it literally. But this may be changing. As first spotted by NewsBTC, the American space agency is looking for an entry-level data scientist with knowledge of cryptocurrency and blockchain, per this LinkedIn posting. Despite this not being listed as a necessity, having prowess in this new field may help. We found only one instance of NASA mentioning “crypto”. It isn’t clear what the data scientist would be working on. Maybe it’s a space coin; maybe it’s a blockchain-based supply chain for NASA’s projects. Who knows?
CME to Launch Bitcoin Options After Wild Success of Futures: The CME Group will be launching Bitcoin options in Q1 of 2020. This builds on top of the institution’s seminal Bitcoin product, Bitcoin futures contracts that have managed to pull in massive volumes. In an announcement, the company said that these new products, which still need to be approved by regulators, will be aimed at providing clients with “additional tools for precision hedging and trading”.
Germany & France Look to Block Facebook’s Crypto: On Wednesday, Reuters reported that the Berlin Government passed a blockchain strategy bill that would aim to stem any company or entity trying to establish a “parallel currency”. The strategy, which was purportedly approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday, is purportedly for the German government to “liaise closely with its European and international allies to prevent stablecoins from becoming alternative currencies”. This came shortly after France’s Finance Minister said that the European Union should disallow the launch of Libra in the Eurozone.
Libra Asserts It Will Launch in 2020: Despite these fears, executives of the Libra Association and of Facebook have asserted that the project is still eyeing a 2020 launch. David Marcus, the head of Calibra at Facebook, has also said that in no ways will Libra infringe on the monetary sovereignty of states, as the cryptocurrency will be 1:1 backed by fiat currencies.
VanEck, SolidX, CBOE Pull Bitcoin ETF Application From SEC: The Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) rollercoaster took another dive on Tuesday, perpetuating the ride that these investment vehicles have been on for over five years. In a filing dated September 17th, VanEck and SolidX, the partners behind a leading Bitcoin ETF application, revealed that they had pulled their application from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This came ahead of the October 18th deadline for the SEC’s verdict on the product. This move came shortly after SEC chairman Jay Clayton asserted on CNBC that he still doesn’t think the cryptocurrency market is ready for a Bitcoin fund.
Bitcoin Hash Rate Tops 100 Million: As reported by Blockchain.com on Thursday, the hash rate of the leading cryptocurrency network has topped the 100 exahashes/second milestone for the first time… ever. In fact, the data website revealed that Bitcoin’s hash rate hit 102.8 exahashes/second, which is up by over 150% from the bottom seen in December. For those that have no clue what the heck an “exahash” is, the number of hashes being processed by Bitcoin miners each and every second to maintain the network is the following: 102,800,000,000,000,000,000.
Bakkt Futures to Launch on Monday: This upcoming Monday, Bakkt will be launching its Bitcoin futures to an eager institutional audience. Analysts at Fundstrat say that this newfangled product will likely improve institutional involvement in the cryptocurrency markets.
Deloitte Trials Bitcoin Payments in Canteen: As first spotted by The Next Web, Deloitte was reported by the Luxembourg Times to have embraced Bitcoin in a really weird way: by announcing intentions to purchase their lunches in-office with the leading cryptocurrency. The “Big Four” professional services behemoth, which sports some 300,000 employees in offices across the globe, is purportedly integrating such a payments system to gauge the viability of BTC, which is an asset that auditing firms have increasingly had to deal with over recent years.
Square Crypto Completes “Inaugural” Developer Team, Looks to Bolster Bitcoin: On Thursday last week, Square Crypto, the cryptocurrency-centric division of the fintech giant, finally finished the hiring process for its core group of Bitcoiners. After a multi-month-long application process, during which over one thousand resumes were submitted to the company, the division announced that it had completed the hiring of three developers: Valentine Wallace, Jeffrey Czyz, and Arik Sosman. Wallace hails from Lightning Labs, one of the primary builders behind the Bitcoin scaling solution that shares the company’s name; Sosman from Facebook’s Libra team and custody provider BitGo; and Czyz from Google. They are expected to help improve the “Bitcoin experience for mainstream users”.
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