These are heady times in the crypto world. Bitcoin hit $7,200, a futures contract is in the works, and SegWit2x will be activated Nov. 16.
In an email sent to customers late Nov. 1, Coinbase said: “Any user storing bitcoin on Coinbase will be credited with an equal amount of the new Bitcoin2x asset, and users will be able to trade both currencies after the fork.”
Read the industry’s reactions below:
DataWallet CEO and founder Serafin Lion Engel: “The CME announcement marks the official inflexion point of bitcoin crossing the chasm from being championed exclusively by tech-savvy early adopters to starting its proliferation among established financial institutions. While it was easy for critics to label early adopters’ enthusiasm as foolish, the adoption of bitcoin by institutions such as CME gives the cryptocurrency a seal of approval that will eradicate even the most well-reasoned criticism pundits may voice. This paves the way for bitcoin living up to its full potential and soaring high into the five digits.”
ULedger CTO Taulant Ramabaja: “CME and similar Futures offerings for the traditional financial industry will make it possible for these institutional investors and funds to take positions within the bitcoin and later general cryptocurrency ecosystem while complying with their existing counterparty and regulatory requirements. We can expect a lot of large-scale institutional money to flow into the bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem from now on, assuming future regulation won’t hinder the emergence of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate asset class.”
Nucleus CEO Abhishek Pitti: “While it’s not the first to announce plans for bitcoin futures, CME may have a better chance of obtaining SEC approval for its proposal. If CME does manage to achieve this feat, one of the largest barriers in introducing a bitcoin-based ETF may soon be removed, which will open up the floodgates for both institutional funds and retail investors who haven’t had exposure to bitcoin to get in on some of the action. We could very well see bitcoin going multiple folds higher when that happens. However, bitcoin is quite different from traditional commodities like gold, copper, or rice that are currently traded in the futures markets. Thus, there will be a lot of teething issues that CME will face, as it does not have any other commodity that behaves like bitcoin. What’s more, this commodity can be procured in many more unregulated cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe, which could potentially steer away a lot of traditional and conservative investors.”
Coinsource CEO Sheffield Clark: “Bitcoin is in a phenomenal position right now. People sometimes overlook the fact that bitcoin has been the highest performing currency four of the past five years, and its unprecedented growth in value has been something big money traders have wanted to get their hands on for a while. One of bitcoin’s few setbacks was accessibility to institutional money; now that’s about to change. I’m excited for the CME and for the rising digital currency asset class. I’m also excited by the growing mainstream adoption of bitcoin, and its subsequent surge in value. Today is a big day for bitcoin.”
Enigma Head of Growth Tor Bair – “The launch of Bitcoin futures on CME is another signal of the ongoing professionalization of crypto asset markets. This move by the CME will bring new professional interest in crypto asset investment and trading. While providing new demand for crypto assets, it also creates significant opportunities for data-driven investors and traders who stand to benefit from increased liquidity and volume.”
Leverj CEO Bharath Rao: “Institutions have been dabbling gently in the crypto market using specialized hedge funds as vehicles, but the introduction of bitcoin futures by the CME opens a huge new opportunity for gaining exposure to cryptocurrency. After all, bitcoin is the bellwether of the entire crypto market, and a regulated, developed exchange product gives the confidence to trade large size for many institutions. The ability to hedge against bitcoin enables the creation of all manner of crypto products, in addition to simple investment and trading. We are likely to see a flurry of activity in this sphere. CME’s introduction of bitcoin futures may herald the first step in mainstream acceptance of crypto as a real asset class.”
Node40 CEO Perry Woodin: “This fork is an extremely interesting and contentious one. Division exists between developer camps, mining pools, and of course the exchanges. I anticipate strong movement of bitcoin from wallets to the exchanges supporting the new currency because many will see it as an opportunity of free money. But what I will stress, is that, under current IRS regulation, bitcoin is indeed a form of property and is subject to capital gains tax once it’s sold. I anticipate similar rules for Bitcoin2x, and from past experience, the majority of owners will blatantly ignore their digital currency tax compliance responsibilities.”
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