Fidelity BTC Trading Coming This Month; CTFC ‘Comfortable’ with ETH Futures; Major Bitcoin Upgrades Proposed

Crypto markets continued to climb today following more promising news regarding institutional investor adoption and the technology underpinning Bitcoin. The former was driven by Fidelity declaring that bitcoin trading will be available to institutional clients “within a few weeks.” Also pushing the ‘institutional adoption’ narrative were insider reports that the CTFC is ready to approve ETH derivates. The top Bitcoin news was the publication of two BIP drafts; the formalization of several ideas that, for years, had been discussed abstractly by Bitcoin developers.

In today’s markets, bitcoin briefly crossed the $6,000-mark; a price not seen since November 14, 2018. Bitcoin (BTC) has since retracted to $5,962, which is still a 3.44% jump over the past 24 hours. As for ether (ETH), it moved 2.5% higher to $180.46. Finally, the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index increased by 1.19% to 2,918.50 as at time of writing.

Bitcoin BTCUSD CryptoCompare Chart

Fidelity 'Within a Few Weeks' of Enabling Institutional BTC Trading

Fidelity Investments will buy and sell bitcoin on behalf of institutional clients "within a few weeks," Bloomberg reported. The financial brokerage giant announced its intentions to launch a new cryptocurrency trading and custody business, Fidelity Digital Assets, last October. Last week, Fidelity announced the results of a ten-week-long survey conducted in an attempt to better understand how institutional investors perceived the nascent asset class. Overall, the responses from the 441 surveyed U.S. institutional investors were interpreted positively by Fidelity and, by extension, the overall crypto industry.

CTFC Willing to Approve ETH Derivatives, Senior Official Reveals

A senior official at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) told CoinDesk they “think [the CTFC] can get comfortable with an ether derivative being under [its] jurisdiction,” that is, provided it meets existing requirements. These reports come roughly five months after the U.S. derivatives regulator published a ‘Request for Input’ (RFI) regarding Ethereum. Contained in the document were 25 Ethereum-related questions that covered a host of topics including network architecture, governance, and the role of ether (ETH). Currently, bitcoin futures contracts are the only crypto-based derivative products under the jurisdiction of the CTFC.

Bitcoin Developer Proposes Pair of BIPs, Privacy-Enhancing Softfork

Blockstream co-founder and Bitcoin Core developer Pieter Wuille submitted to the bitcoin-dev email list two Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) drafts specifying a proposal for a Taproot softfork. By combining the likes of MAST (Merkelized Abstract Syntax Tree), Schnorr signatures, and Taproot, the pair of BIP drafts would, if implemented, markedly improve the privacy, efficiency, and flexibility of smart contracts executed on Bitcoin, according to Wuille. Taproot was initially proposed in January 2018 by Bitcoin Core developer, and former Blockstream co-founder and CTO, Gregory Maxwell.