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.

Apple Users Score Crypto-Friendly Options; Trio Close Venture Equity Rounds

The top daily news from the cryptocurrency and blockchain space:

  • Opera’s crypto-, blockchain-ready browser hits Apple iOS.
  • Venture funding spree continues with trio of equity round closures.
  • Ethereum ERC-20 tokens to be tradable on a world-leading stock exchange by year-end.

At the time of writing, bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) are trading at $12,630.8 (-0.7%) and $327.5 (-1.1%), respectively. As for the MVIS CryptoCompare Digital Assets 10 Index, it is currently tracking at 5,051.6 (-0.1%).

Bitcoin Ethereum CryptoCompare Litecoin

Opera’s Crypto-, Blockchain-Ready Browser Hits Apple iOS

Opera, the software technology company behind the popular web browser of the same name, announced its blockchain and cryptocurrency-ready Opera Touch browser is now available for iOS, the mobile operating system created and developed by Apple.

Opera Touch features “crypto wallet integration and Web 3 support,” meaning users can natively interact with blockchain-based applications; eliminating the need for a browser extension such as MetaMask.

Currently, Opera Touch only supports ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens. Support for other blockchains like Tron (TRX), however, is expected to be enabled by the middle of next year.

Venture Funding Spree Continues as Trio Close Equity Rounds

A total of three projects that, either directly or indirectly, form part of the fast-growing cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystem, announced successful venture capital rounds.

The first was blockchain data startup dfuse, which raised $3.5 million in an equity round co-led by Multicoin Capital and tech giant Intel’s venture arm, Intel Capital. Commenting on his crypto-fund’s decision to invest in dfuse was Multicoin’s Kyle Samani, who, in a blog post, noted that the EOS-native dfuse will “be launching support for Ethereum in the next few weeks.”

The second was Imgur, one of the world’s leading image hosting platforms, which announced it raised a venture equity round worth $20 million from the XRP-integrated micropayments startup, Coil. “As part of the transaction, Stefan Thomas, Founder & CEO of Coil and former CTO of Ripple Labs, Inc., will be joining Imgur's board of directors,” stated a press release from Coil.

The third was now-former ConsenSys incubatee 3Box, a U.S.-based startup specializing in the decentralized identity space, which closed a Placeholder Ventures-led $2.5 million seed round. Other investors in 3Box included Venrock, CoinFund, Northzone, and ConsenSys.

Ethereum ERC-20 Tokens on Swiss Stock Exchange by Year-End

According to CoinDesk, Swiss security token startup BlockState is planning to “passport” six Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens to R3’s Corda, a private distributed ledger technology platform.

“Before the end of the year, the tokens will be locked up in a smart contract on ethereum and “mirrored” versions of them will run on Corda,” the crypto media outlet reported, before continuing to report “the passporting will take place on the network R3 is building for the Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX) – part of SIX, Switzerland’s national stock exchange.”