Canada’s first & only regulated Bitcoin fund launches
Canada’s first regulated Bitcoin fund has been granted mutual fund status. While the US SEC is still working on a Bitcoin fund, Canada has already done so by approving the Bitcoin trust fund, enabling accredited investors to make an investment in Bitcoin through their retirement savings plan and tax-free savings accounts among others.
Qualified investors gain exposure to BTC through the FBC Bitcoin Trust, but without having to actually acquire, store, and manage the underlying Bitcoin. Marc van der Chijs, the co-founder and CIO of First Block stated “With this accomplishment, we continue to push Canada forward as a world leader in regulated blockchain and cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Our goal is to make investments in the digital currency asset class more accessible…” Consensus is that tax-free exposure to Bitcoin gains is a really great step for crypto.
Nasdaq trials new tool to predict crypto price movement
Nasdaq might be on the cusp of giving institutional investors an analytical edge on trading hundreds of crypto assets. According to a person familiar with the company’s plans, the US stock exchange is preparing to add tools for predicting the price movements of crypto assets to its Analytics Hub. The hub, launched last year, draws on machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) capabilities to parse through social media and other alternative data sources to give investors a better way to assess market movement.
To date, the Analytics Hub has focused on traditional assets, but the addition of crypto seems to be another signal of Wall Street’s growing interest in the nascent sector. Bill Dague, Nasdaq’s head of alternative data, said “given the abundance of interest, we are exploring cryptocurrency related datasets.” The source, who’s working with Nasdaq on the effort, was resolute, saying that the new crypto functionality is currently being beta tested ahead of a launch targeted for November. The service would provide sentiment on some 500 crypto assets, and that it takes a three-pronged approach to its analysis, looking at fund flows via wallets, data from exchanges and social media. “There’s the social media sentiment part, so applying machine learning and NLP, which will start with Twitter and might include StockTwits and then eventually perhaps Reddit,” the source said.
IMF advises against crypto as legal tender in Marshall islands
The International Monetary Fund has advised against the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ plan to introduce a digital currency as a second legal tender alongside the US dollar. The Marshall Islands – a remote chain of islands in the central Pacific – passed a law on the issue in February, aiming the planned the “Sovereign” cryptocurrency to boost the local economy and counter the increasing risks of the nation becoming disconnected from the global financial system.
However, following a period of consultation with officials from the islands, the IMF published a paper on Monday advising against the move. According to the paper, the Marshall Islands economy is now “highly dependent” on external aid, as the country faces constant climate change and natural disasters. The only domestic commercial bank in the country is now “at risk of losing its last US dollar correspondent banking relationship with a US-based bank,” due to tightened due diligence across financial institutions in the U.S.
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