The first week of August has been a rough one for the cryptocurrency market, despite positive industry developments. Arguably the biggest news is that the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the owner of the NYSE, will launch a startup called Bakkt, partnering with Microsoft, Starbucks, and Boston Consulting Group. Bakkt will serve as a federally regulated Bitcoin (BTC) marketplace. With bold ambitions, ICE wants Bakkt to eventually enable investors to buy BTC in 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts, as well as foster peace of mind with regulated and secure cold storage of coins. Bakkt also aims to disrupt the credit card industry by allowing consumers to pay for groceries directly from their Bitcoin wallets. The momentous news could mean that cryptocurrency is closer to institutional and widespread adoption than ever.
Here’s the rest of the week in review:
The Philippines’ securities regulator released a set of rules for initial coin offerings (ICOs). The draft states that any company must request the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to determine if their ICO is a security token. The Commission will then review the application and respond within 40 days. The government has invited banks, funds, and the public to review and comment on the drafted rules. With this move, the Philippines is attempting to create a safe and regulated environment for cryptocurrency and ICOs.
Bloomberg reports that the U.S. SEC is investigating cryptocurrency exchanges for misconduct. The regulatory agency is researching the exchanges’ business practices with clients. In particular, the focus is on trading commissions, investment firms’ relationships with ICOs and the method hedge funds use to price their cryptocurrency investments. The SEC has also subpoenaed Long Blockchain, the iced tea company that infamously changed its name in December to enable a pump and dump of its stock price.
Chicago-based financial services giant Northern Trust has recently started utilizing blockchain and cryptocurrencies across multiple divisions. The company has added several new blockchain features that are designed to aid in managing its private equity workflow. Northern Trust, which currently holds more than $10 trillion in assets that are under administration and custody, has also opened fund administration services to a number of hedge funds that are betting on Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Goldman Sachs reiterated its gloomy view on the cryptocurrency sector in the mid-year issue of its Investment Management Division’s 2018 outlook report. The investment bank remains committed to the view that cryptocurrencies are overvalued, citing Ethereum’s price drop of over 70% from its all-time high. The report states that the bank expects prices to decline further, and argues that cryptocurrencies do not fulfill any of the roles of money. Although Goldman will open a Bitcoin trading desk and is warming to the idea of trading derivatives, it seems at least its private wealth management division remains skeptical of the sector.
This week cryptocurrency prices dropped significantly, driven by losses in BTC, Stellar (XLM) and TRON (TRX). The AltDex 100 Index (ALT100), a benchmark index for the industry’s leading cryptocurrencies and tokens, dropped over 12% this week and sits at 93.66.
Other cryptocurrency categories have also performed poorly over the last week. The AltDex Exchange Token Index (ALTEXC), a benchmark index for the industry’s leading exchange tokens, fell over 17% while the AltDex Privacy Coin Index (ALTPRV), which tracks tokens focused on privacy or security, is down around 21%. The new AltDex Masternode Index (ALTMSN), which tracks cryptocurrencies that leverage masternodes to support network functionality without hyperinflation, has dropped nearly 8% since launching on August 1.
The week’s biggest altcoin losers are BitcoinDark (BTCD), down 46%, Peercoin (PPC), down 45%, and Wanchain (WAN), down 36%. The biggest winners are ZClassic, (ZCL), up 50%, Metaverse ETP (ETP), up 28%, and Ravencoin (RVN), up 27%. The majors’ moving average convergence divergence recently crossed over into the negative, suggesting more pain ahead.
Disclaimer: This article’s author has cryptocurrency holdings that can be tracked here. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice. Always conduct your own due diligence before making investments.