BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes: Ether Will 'Test' $200 When ICOs 'Return'

Omar Faridi
  • BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes has predicted that ether (ETH) price will "rebound aggressively."
  • Hayes believes ether's price will recover once the initial coin offering (ICO) market comes back in the next 18 months.

Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of BitMEX, the world’s largest cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, recently predicted that the price of Ethereum’s native token, ether (ETH), will “rebound aggressively.”

Hayes, who previously worked at Deutsche Bank and as head trader at Citi, told Cointelegraph Japan that the main use case for Ethereum is to use its blockchain network to launch initial coin offerings (ICOs). However, Hayes noted that the ICO market is “dead” right now and that it will likely return within “18 months.”

Hayes: Ether Could “Quickly Test” $200

Explaining how the price of ether could recover, the Wharton Business school graduate remarked:

The use case for Ether is primarily ICOs. That market is dead right now … Once there are new issues (ICOs), then ether will rebound aggressively. When the ICO market returns, ether will quickly test $200. The timing of the ICO rebirth is 12 to 18 months out.

As CryptoGlobe reported in mid-August, Hayes called ether a “shitcoin” as its price had mostly been pumped by speculative venture capitalists and ICO projects. At the time, ether’s price dropped below the $300 mark and Hayes said the companies and inexperienced investors that invested in the cryptocurrency and/or ERC-20 tokens would likely dump their holdings as they would not be able to stomach more losses.

Notably, the price of ETH has since dropped below $100 as Hayes predicted it would, but has now recovered and the token is trading at around $130.

Security Tokens & Stablecoins

In his recent interview, Hayes also predicted that stablecoins will be dominating the cryptoasset markets before the ICO market comes back (in the next 12-18 months). The BitMEX co-founder noted:

Security tokens and stablecoins will prove attractive sirens for investors in 2019. While their fundamental raison d'etre is flawed, investors in this time of pain will latch onto anything they believe will be their ticket to easy riches.

As covered by CryptoGlobe in November, Asher Tan, the founder of Australia-based crypto exchange, Coinjar, has predicted that stablecoins would be the “next big thing.” Tan, who launched Coinjar in 2013 along with computer scientist Ryan Zhou remarked:

The interesting thing right now, what's on everyone's lips … [are] stablecoins … It's a craze right now … It helps you transfer money around the crypto ecosystem at a stable rate. But there's a whole lot of applications or use-cases that could come out of it.

Tan also revealed there are now an increasing number of software engineers, economists, and traditional investors who have started to take more interest in stablecoins. Commenting on active involvement of a relatively large number of players in the development of USD-pegged coins, Tan noted "these are things that usually only a central bank would have thought about five years ago, and now you've got tech start-ups looking at economics, and how can you peg a currency to a token."

ErisX Tells Regulator's Why Ethereum Futures Would Create Better Markets

  • Nasdaq and Fidelity Investments-backed ErisX exchange sends explanation letter to CFTC.
  • Letter explains that regulated Ether-based futures contract would create more efficient crypto markets.

ErisX, a US-based digital asset exchange, has filed a comment letter with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) - after the federal regulator requested more information regarding Ethereum (ETH)’s current market.

Submitted on Friday, February 15, ErisX’s letter asserted:

The introduction of a regulated futures contract on Ether would have a positive impact on the growth and maturation of the market.

As covered, ErisX is a newly launched cryptoasset exchange that received $27.5 million in starting capital from multi-trillion dollar investment manager, Fidelity and Nasdaq Ventures, which is Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) VC investment division.

Consistent With CFTC's Efforts

In December 2018, ErisX’s management revealed its plans to offer bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC), and ether (ETH) spot trading and it also noted that it was seeking regulatory approval - in order to list cryptocurrency futures at a later point this year. Explaining why such futures contracts would help investors, ErisX’s letter noted that “listing and trading Ether futures compliantly on CFTC regulated markets is consistent” with the financial regulator’s efforts to create “open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound derivative trading markets.”

The letter from ErisX further mentioned that regulated crypto-based futures would “prohibit fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices in connection with derivatives and other products subject to the (Commodity Exchange Act) CEA.” According to the CFTC, bitcoin can be considered a commodity as it has been designed to potentially replace existing fiat currencies (as a medium-of-exchange). Because of bitcoin and ethereum’s decentralized nature, they are arguably not securities, the CFTC has clarified on several occasions.

Explaining the differences between the Ethereum and Bitcoin protocol, ErisX’s letter has stated: 

Ethereum built upon some of the architectural principles of Bitcoin to extend [its] functionality of [a] distributed, (cryptographically) secured, (blockchain-enabled) record-keeping system to include new computational capabilities for the execution of arbitrary code.

"Unregulated Exchanges And Brokers" Trying To "Fill The Gap"

Per ErisX’s analysis of current trends in the global Ethereum (and larger digital asset) market, there is still not a proper regulatory framework in place. This, according to ErisX, has discouraged several large enterprises from entering the fragile crypto ecosystem. At present, ErisX believes there’s a trend emerging in which “unregulated or lightly regulated ‘exchanges’ [and] ‘brokers’ [are trying] to fill the gap, many of them off-shore.” However, ErisX cautioned there may be certain risks associated with this type of market such as increased volatility and liquidity fluctuations.

As noted in ErisX’s letter:

Not unique to Ether, but [current crypto markets could suffer due to] the current fragmented global market structure of trading platforms and ‘exchanges’ with significantly varying degrees of regulatory oversight and operational transparency and integrity.

By introducing standardized, CFTC-regulated Ether-based financial products, ErisX argues the crypto space might receive a more positive response from institutional investors - which could potentially lead to “more robust, liquid, and resilient markets.”