November 27, 2017
By C. Edward Kelso - November 27, 2017 (news.bitcoin.com)
شركة مبادلة (Mubadala Development Company PJSC), an Abu Dhabi-based state holding company, appears receptive to the global phenomenon sweeping through professional finance circles that is bitcoin. Its CEO, when asked about Jamie Dimon’s comments calling the decentralized currency a “fraud” that will “blow up,” answered that it was too soon to dismiss Satoshi’s creation.
“I have still have not formed a clear view on this,” Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO and Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi company, began with regard to the technology undergirding bitcoin. “We’re still getting educated on this. The area I would have concern on, still, is the regulatory side. How is this going to be regulated?” he asked rhetorically.
Mubadala is an Abu Dhabi state holding company operating within a joint-stock scheme with assets well above 100 billion USD. The fund is proposed as “a pioneering global investor, deploying capital with integrity and ingenuity to accelerate economic growth for the long-term benefit of Abu Dhabi,” according to its website.
“Because I think blockchain,” Mr. Al Mubarak continued, “its growth, let’s say, from single digits to double digits to astronomical growth, will really depend on how fast you can execute, and will you be able to execute under a regulatory environment that is acceptable. I think if they’re able to crack that, I think it’s going to be an incredible story. But, to date, I’d say I am still on the fence.”
The CNBC interviewer then asked in follow-up: “What about bitcoin, because Jamie Dimon is calling it a fraud. Do you agree?”
“No. I wouldn’t agree in calling it a fraud,” Mr. Al Mubarak answered quickly. “I would say time will tell. It could well be and it could as well not be. I think one has to be open-minded.”
Within the emirate, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak is a gadfly. He’s on hand for every important world-leader reception taken by Abu Dhabi’s President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, from Bill Gates to bilateral talks with France.
Educated in the United States and young at 41, Mr. Al Mubarak spreads himself among many boards and directorships in and around Abu Dhabi. His willingness to at least entertain bitcoin and distributed ledger technology is an encouraging sign for those who wish for greater crypto adoption in the region.
Images courtesy of: Pixabay, Blogger, Wiki Commons.
November 26, 2017
By Gareth Jenkinson - November 26, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)
As Bitcoin powered ahead to a new high for a second week in a row, some have speculated that institutional investors could seek safe haven in the virtual currency in the future. The prevailing rhetoric over the past month has been more affirming than damning of cryptocurrencies, with the likes of Ronnie Moas and Max Keiser predicting new highs in 2018. Speaking to RT, eToro analyst Mikhail Mashchenko says financial institutions could look to Bitcoin if a major financial crash hits global markets.
“The demand for Bitcoin is growing as the crypto market has become less volatile, and an increasing number of professional investors see it as insurance.”
Second-oldest bull market
The current bull market in stocks is the second-longest in history, according to Fortune, having lasted 104 months so far. The longest bull market in history ended in 2000 after an impressive 113 month run. With the current rally getting a bit long in the tooth, many on Wall Street are making contingency plans for the stock market’s inevitable turn. If Mashchenko is right, Bitcoin will have a role in some of these plans.
Mashchenko’s statements come on the back of changing sentiment in the mainstream financial sector. Last week, JP Morgan Chase announced plans to offer Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange - an important move by one of the biggest banking and financial services providers in America. Even more satisfying, this moves comes only months after Chase CEO Jamie Dimon condemned Bitcoin as a scam.
Online banking service providers and exchange operators LedgerX and Revolut are also adopting Bitcoin support. The former was recently cleared to offer Bitcoin derivatives as people look to do more than just trade the cryptocurrency.
“LedgerX launched its first long-term options for Bitcoin, with an expiration date of December 28, 2018. In the coming months, we will continue to see the ‘domestication’ of Bitcoin: the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are planning to launch tools based on the cryptocurrency in the near future.”
If and when a stream of institutional investors start investing large amounts of capital into cryptocurrencies, some of the stunning predictions made by Bitcoin bulls could well be realised. However, Mashchenko’s prediction was quite conservative, suggesting that Bitcoin reaching a $10,000 high by the end of 2017 would be driven by emotion rather than fundamentals:
“We could see a Bitcoin at $10,000 in a month or so. However, such a surge will be based on emotions, not on fundamental factors. So, further growth of the cryptocurrency will require something more than euphoria.”
November 24, 2017
JP Morgan is getting into Bitcoin Futures trading, Despite Jamie Dimon’s statement about Bitcoin’s fraud
BY Eugenia Kovaliova - November 22, 2017 (www.coinspeaker.com)
JP Morgan, one of the largest banking institutions in the United States, is looking at allowing its clients to trade bitcoin futures, while its Chief Executive James Dimon stays negative to Bitcoin believing it’s a fraud.
According to the latest Wall Street Journal report, JP Morgan Chase & Co., a leading global financial services firm operating worldwide and the US largest banking institution, is considering whether to provide its clients access to CME’s new bitcoin product through its futures-brokerage unit. The final decision depends on JPMorgan’s customers’ demand.
The news can seem a bit contradictory if we remember JP Morgan’s Chief Executive James Dimon, stating that Bitcoin is a fraud, which became the most outspoken critic of Bitcoin on Wall Street. Moreover, on multiple occasions Dimon hinted that he believes digital currency is a bubble that will crash. On a conference last month he said: “If you’re stupid enough to buy it, you’ll pay the price for it one day.”
Dimon also said he would fire anyone caught investing in Bitcoin and seemed to be ready to fulfill the promise. His finance chief, Marianne Lake, has struck a more measured tone. Last month she said that the firm was open minded to the potential uses for digital currencies so long as they are properly regulated.
Surprisingly, that despite Dimon’s negative attitude to cryptocurrency, JPMorgan would be moving forward with plans to allow clients to trade in it through the bank.
The introduction of Bitcoin Futures Contract by the CME group, which is planned to be launched by the end of the year, was followed by Bitcoin’s new all-time high of $8336. The upswing was recorded on Monday, November 20. And the rate doesn’t seem to stop rising. According to the predictions of legendary hedge fund manager and a billionaire trader Michael Novogratz, Bitcoin can touch $10,000 by the end of this year.
Apart from CME Group, a few more Wall Street financial institutions have turned optimistic about Bitcoin’s future. One of such examples is LedgerX, a federally regulated exchange and clearinghouse, which has initiated the first-ever long-term Bitcoin futures ‘option’ pegged at a price of $10,000.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has recently stated that bitcoin futures could help dampen the coin’s volatility:
“We would not overstate this, as a material reduction in volatility would require there to be a large community of speculators prepared to provide liquidity to the natural owners of the various coins, but given the volatility of the coin markets, maybe there already exists a cadre of participants who would look to short coins on strong days and vice versa, which could overall reduce volatility.”
Still, some experts continue to doubt that bitcoin futures would be positive for the markets, holding on to the point that such a product could ultimately destabilize the real economy.
November 04, 2017
By Francisco Memoria - November 04, 2017 (www.cryptocoinsnews.com)
At a time in which bitcoin reaches a new record high around the $7,500 mark and catapults the cryptocurrency market cap above the $200 billion mark for the first time in history, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam makes it clear that he isn’t a fan of the cryptocurrency, as he stated it was the “very definition of a bubble” while speaking at a news conference in Zurich.
The CEO expressed caution as interest in bitcoin could eventually subside. He noted that right now people are buying the cryptocurrency expecting a price rise that will help them make money, not as a store of value, meaning it is a bubble. He notably stated:
“From what we can identify, the only reason today to buy or sell Bitcoin is to make money, which is the very definition of speculation and the very definition of a bubble.”
Tidjane Thiam added that bitcoin currently presents a number of challenges, and expressed concern over its anonymity, as to him it is particularly problematic for financial institutions that, given the potential money-laundering risks, are likely not to get involved with the cryptocurrency. He added:
“Bitcoin presents a number of challenges. The first of them is really the anonymity. (…) I think most banks in the current state of regulation have little or no appetite to get involved in a currency which has such anti-money laundering challenges".
Analysts believe that more institutional investors are going to enter the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as one of the largest derivatives exchange in the world, CME Group, recently decided to launch bitcoin futures.
Given his words, Thiam now joins a list of bankers and Wall Street executives who believe bitcoin is a bubble. Among them are Berkshire Hathaway CEO and billionaire investor Warren Buffet, who warned there’s a “real bubble” in bitcoin as, according to him, the cryptocurrency cannot be valued because it isn’t a value-producing asset.
Earlier this year, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon also criticized bitcoin by calling it a “a fraud” and stating he would fire anyone in his financial institution trading it. Later on, Dimon stated that the cryptocurrency was “worth nothing” before taking a third shot at the cryptocurrency and its investors, notably stating that anyone “stupid enough to buy [bitcoin] will pay the price.”
Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, also stated that bitcoin is a bubble, as it met his firm’s criteria for it., partly because some investors buy coins to later on sell them at a higher price, and because of its volatility.
On the other hand, some aren’t as dismissive of bitcoin. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently told Bloomberg he wasn’t willing to “pooh pooh” the cryptocurrency, despite having a certain “level of discomfort with it” as is the case with anything new. Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman also recently stated that bitcoin is “more than just a fad” that “isn’t inherently bad.”
Featured image from Flickr/Africa Progress Panel.
Posted by Francisco Memoria
Francisco is a cryptocurrency writer who's in love with technology and focuses on helping people see the value digital currencies have. Twitter: https://twitter.com/FranciscoMemor
October 28, 2017
By Jon Buck - October 28, 2017 (cointelegraph.com)
Sergio Ermotti, the CEO of Swiss banking giant UBS, told CNBC that he believes Blockchain technology will “likely reshape” the way that banks do business. UBS is already heavily invested in the new technology, partnering in the Batavia project with IBM, Bank of Montreal, and others.
The statement does not come as a surprise, as companies and institutions have been rushing into the Blockchain space in order to increase efficiency and decrease costs. According to Ermotti:
"Our strategy there is very simple. We try to initiate and get as many other financial institutions and clients into teams like trade finance with other banks and IBM was a successful venture…[allowing banks to] operate and transact at a cheaper, more efficient level.”
Hot on Blockchain, not Bitcoin
Though excited about the possibilities that Blockchain technology holds for the banking sector, the CEO was ambivalent toward Bitcoin. However, rather than taking a hardline anti-Bitcoin stance like his JP Morgan Chase counterpart, Ermotti simply dismissed Bitcoin, saying:
"Not necessarily cryptocurrencies, I think that needs to be defined, but I believe there is a future for blockchain technology, and technology will play a big role in changing and reshaping our industry."