Bittrex to Delist Bitshares, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Private

  • Bittrex announced the removal of Bitshares, Bitcoin Gold, and Bitcoin Private wallets from its exchange.
  • None of these coins currently have markets on Bittrex, so users should remove their funds ASAP.

In a recently  published announcement,  popular cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex released that it will be closing wallets for Bitshares (BTS), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Bitcoin Private (BTCP).

The wallets will be closed on Monday, November 5, 2018. Any assets left on the exchange after that date will become unrecoverable. Any remaining funds can be removed by opening Bittrex and clicking on “Wallets,” then “withdraw.”

None of these coins currently have active markets on Bittrex. Even though you can’t currently trade these coins on the platform, Bittrex allowed traders to hold their coins on the exchange - until now.

It might seem strange that Bittrex isn’t trading cryptocurrencies like BTG or BTS. Both of these cryptocurrencies are in the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap, and are listed on other large exchanges like Binance. However, issues with the coins explain why Bittrex did not trade these cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Gold was originally delisted from Bittrex in September 2018, after BTG witnessed one of the largest 51% attacks in cryptocurrency history. After the attack happened, Bittrex asked BTG to recover the 12,372 BG (~$500M) that it lost during the hack. BTG declined, and was therefore delisted.

BitShares was delisted back in 2017, when Bittrex claimed that running a BTS node was too difficult, and was not worth the operating cost. The exchnage seemingly never had trading pairs for Bitcoin Private, as the cryptocurrency was airdropped to BTC holders in February of 2018. Bittrex allowed BTC holders to claim their BTCP from the exchange.

This announcement marks Bittrex’s newest removal. Their previous announcement, for an October 19, 2018 delisting, announced that Auroracoin (AUR), Bytecent (BYC), Credibit (CRB), OMNI, and Spreadcoin (SPR) will be removed. To learn more about all of Bittrex’s removals, click here to go to their support page.

Bittrex is currently the 35th most popular cryptocurrency exchange, turning over 8,047 BTC ($53M) of volume a day.

How Bakkt Can Bring the Crypto Space an Institutional Investor Influx

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have for years been waiting for institutional investors to enter the space. While the introduction of bitcoin futures contracts on regulated exchanges in late 2017 didn’t gain a lot of traction, but Bakkt may.

Bakkt is a long-awaited bitcoin futures exchange and on-boarding platform from the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) - the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange – and it’s set to launch this year. Bakkt itself has remained tight-lipped over the precise launch date after delaying its launch last year, with ICE CEO Jeff Sprecher in February simply saying “later this year.”

It’s possible that this quarter may see the launch or at least more news about when the exchange is finally coming. At the end of March, Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffler explained:

While we’re not yet able to provide a launch date, we’re making solid progress in bringing the first physical delivery price discovery contracts for bitcoin to the U.S.

Bakkt’s launch could be a major milestone for the cryptoasset industry. A venture backed by Microsoft and Starbucks, its institutional pedigree alone will switch many cautious investors on. Specifically, the firm is set to help consumers pay for goods and services with cryptocurrencies, with Starbucks being the flagship retailer in its arsenal.

Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts will be the first physically-settled derivatives on a regulated trading platform. This means investors will receive the contract’s underlying asset, bitcoin, when it expires.

Currently the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) offers cash-settled bitcoin futures contracts, meaning investors get the equivalent of BTC’s value in fiat when the contracts expire. This is seen by some as a major development in the cryptocurrency space, as it shows traditional finance is willing to interact with the nascent cryptoasset industry.

It’s worth noting that earlier this year the ICE’s CEO called Bakkt a “bit of a moonshot bet,”  as it was organized in a way “very different than the way ICE typically does business.” The firm has its own offices and management team, and could undergo more rounds of financing in the future.

Bakkt And a Potential Bitcoin ETF

What’s significant about Bakkt’s launch beyond this, is that it may bolster the chances of a Bitcoin Exchange-Traded fund (ETF) being approved. Such a product would make it easier for institutional investors to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies.

In August, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected nine other ETF applications, in particular highlighting how those applying hadn’t provided evidence that “bitcoin futures markets are of significant size’” for an ETF to be launched.

Once Bakkt is launched its trading volumes may very well help quell the SEC’s concerns over the bitcoin futures markets’ small size as institutions and other investors may feel comfortable entering it. Larger futures contracts trading volume, increased liquidity and a well-established company involved may prove enough to convince the SEC that the time is right for a Bitcoin ETF.

Bakkt therefore represents a very significant milestone for a maturing cryptoasset industry and may well herald the “institutional influx” that many have been anticipating since 2017. Despite the markets remaining relatively flat throughout 2019 these looming decisions in the U.S. have the power to move the entire industry forward, for better or worse.