Ethereum Still Sub-$400 as ASIC Controversy and Disputes Settle in

  • Ethereum has fallen to lows of $363 before gaining some ground
  • This week marks its worst performance since November 2017

Not since November 27 has there been a nadir in Ethereum's pricing, until now. With continued trading uncertainty, Ether is falling even further than its previous $387 stopping point.

According to trading data from this afternoon, the price has receded from about $416 earlier this week, to about $382 at press time, after recovering from the $360 mark. Throughout trading over the last few days, ongoing disputes over cybersecurity and global trade have struck the markets.

Controversy and Regulations Put Ether In The Red

Ethereum's major update, dubbed 'Casper' has caused division between users. Moreover, on April 3, Bitmain revealed its new Ethereum ASIC cryptocurrency miner, dubbed 'Antminer E3', and it's proving to be controversial as it would give miners who use the ASIC an edge over GPU miners. Its processing speed for extracting cryptos has caused many concerns to emerge.

According to a Twitter poll conducted by an Ethereum developer, the cryptocurrency’s community would support a hard fork to render the E3 obsolete. For many, this is preferred as major mining would affect Ethereum's decentralized position. This news has led many to call for the update to be brought forward.

Ongoing regulatory uncertainties over cryptocurrencies and ICOs are throwing Ether, among others, into the red. It's expected, however, that cryptos will experience some reprieve as US tax season approaches. As Wall Street analyst Tom Lee pointed out, the current bearish trend may be partly being caused by a whopping $25 billion capital gains hit. As covered, he stated:

A measured approach from the likes of Australia and Japan offer some middle ground between countries and cryptos.

Ether (ETH) Futures 'Likely' to Launch in 2020, Says CFTC Chairman

Heath Tarbert, the Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has revealed he believes ether (ETH) futures contracts will be launched in 2020.

Speaking at a fireside chat during the first day of the DC Fintech Week, Tarbert revealed he believes ether futures contracts could soon launch, saying it’s “likely that you would see a futures contract in the next six months to a year.”

The CFTC, as reported, declared ether a commodity earlier this month and revealed the agency would be willing to approve ETH futures contracts. At the time, Tarbert said:

We've been very clear on bitcoin: bitcoin is a commodity. We haven't said anything about ether—until now. It is my view as chairman of the CFTC that ether is a commodity.

During the fireside chat, according to CoinDesk, Tarbert noted that to his knowledge no company has, so far, applied to launch ether futures contracts, even though the CFTC is open to approving such a product. Approval will, nevertheless, depend on the application itself.

Tarbert also revealed other cryptocurrencies may soon be seen as commodities, and there other crypto derivatives are coming soon. As there are thousands of cryptoasset out there, it’s unclear which he may have been referring to, if any.

The CFTC Chairman added that an asset can evolve from a commodity to a security and vice versa, although when asked he revealed there may not be a precedent to this happening. The Securities and Exchange Commission, he said, is the entity that determines when an asset is a security.

The SEC has notably been cracking down on initial coin offering (ICO) projects in the last few months, It recently filed an emergency action against Telegram for issuing its Gram tokens without registering with it, and earlier sued messaging app Kik for allegedly running an illegal securities offering that raised $100 million, in which it issued its KIN token.

Featured image by Chris Liverani on Unsplash.