Nasdaq Confirms Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures in First Half of 2019

Nasdaq Confirms Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures in First Half of 2019


Joseph Christinat, the vice president of Nasdaq’s media team, has confirmed that the exchange will soon launch bitcoin futures. In a recent interview with a newspaper in the U.K., Christinat revealed that the platform plans to start offering bitcoin futures contracts within the first half of 2019.

Also Read: Chilean Court Rules in Favor of Closing Bank Accounts of Crypto Exchange Orionx

Nasdaq Waiting for ‘Go-Ahead’ From CFTC

Nasdaq Confirms Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures in First Half of 2019Christinat told the Daily Express that the world’s second-largest stock exchange by market capitalization expects to launch bitcoin futures trading in the first six months of the coming year.

“Bitcoin Futures will be listed and it should launch in the first half of next year,” Christinat said, adding that Nasdaq is currently “waiting for the go-ahead” from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). “There’s been enough work put into this to make that academic. We’ve seen plenty of speculation and rumors about what we might be doing … so, here you go — we’re doing this, and it’s happening.”

Exchange Unfazed by Cryptocurrency Bear Market

Nasdaq Confirms Plans to Launch Bitcoin Futures in First Half of 2019Christinat claimed that Nasdaq remains committed to ensuring the launch of bitcoin futures, emphasizing the company’s long-term perspective on the cryptocurrency industry.

“We got into the blockchain game five years ago,” Christinat stated. “When the technology first popped up we just leant out of the window and shouted ‘hey come over here’ right at it.”

Christinat also said Nasdaq has devoted a significant amount of resources toward launching bitcoin futures. “We’ve put a hell of a lot of money and energy into delivering the ability to do this and we’ve been all over it for a long time — way before the market went into turmoil, and that will not affect the timing of this in any way. No. Period. We’re doing this no matter what.”

Do you think we will see the launch of Nasdaq’s bitcoin futures before the second half of 2019? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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US Excludes Iran’s Central Bank from the Global FinancialSystem

US Excludes Iran’s Central Bank from the Global Financial System

Economy & Regulation

The Central Bank of Iran has been cut off from the global monetary system, after the Swift banking network bowed to U.S. pressure. The move leaves Iran’s 81 million citizens financially excluded and facing serious economic consequences, amidst renewed U.S. sanctions. America’s coercion of Swift attests to the stranglehold the nation exerts on the world economy, and the power it possesses to punish dissenters.

Also read: Minecraft-Like Platform Brings a 3D World to Bitcoin Cash

Swift Severs Ties With Iran

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, commonly known as Swift, is a network relied on by banks to funnel money all around the world. Headquartered in Belgium, it is meant to serve as an international cooperative society, and thus is not meant beholden to any single nation. The reality is quite different however. The U.S., as is its wont, has forced Swift to accede to its wishes and sever ties with Iran’s central bank, as its sanction-led battle with the Islamic nation heats up. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin revealed the move on Nov. 8, tweeting:

Had Swift failed to follow the orders of its U.S puppet master, it could have succumbed to the same fate as Iran itself. “Swift could be subject to sanctions,” Mnuchin proclaimed last week. “Swift is no different than any other entity.” His comments reinforce the belief that no international organization is beyond the reach of American forces. The Swift money transfer system is open to all nations until the U.S. decides otherwise. In a statement made earlier this week, Swift explained:

In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, Swift is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system. This step, while regrettable, has been taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system. Our mission remains to be a global neutral messaging provider.

Permissioned on Pain of Punishment

US Excludes Iran's Central Bank from the Global Financial System“Swift is an enforcement arm of the U.S. government,” tweeted bitcoiner Nic Carter in response to the news. “The current financial system is an extension of U.S. hegemony,” he continued. “It is a system that works for many, but not all.”

There are arguments that can be made for and against America’s decision to exert a financial blockade on Iran for funding militant groups in the Middle East. What is inescapable, however, is that the biggest victims of the Swift banking ban will be ordinary Iranians who are blameless, yet find their business and personal lives crippled by U.S. hegemony.

“Swift is the lifeblood of international payments,” said Thilo Brodtmann, executive director at Germany’s VDMA, an engineering association. “Any restriction, however small, on the neutrality of this system is unacceptable. Today Iran, tomorrow Russia and then China?”

America’s decision to impose harsh sanctions on Iran is a controversial one that even its closest allies are seeking to circumvent. The U.K., Germany and France are among five countries to have established a special purpose vehicle (SPV), an alternative system that will enable companies to continue trading with Iran. Iranians struggling to send and receive funds from family overseas have no such luxury however. Swift and SPVs are of little use to the ordinary man or woman on the streets of Tehran, to whom censorship-resistant money, such as decentralized cryptocurrency, can be literally a lifeline.

US Excludes Iran’s Central Bank from the Global Financial System

What are your thoughts on Swift’s Iranian banking ban? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin ATMs Now In The Thousands Around the World

Bitcoin ATM's growing reports a milestone of the 3,500 threshold being crossed for bitcoin ATMs (BATM) installed across the globe. One of the goals behind bitcoin automated teller machines is ease of onboarding to the world of crypto. A bear market – a protracted Crypto Winter – appeared to slow BATMs’ placement. And for sure it just might have, but numbers remain relatively strong considering, with the greater worry among BATM operators being US federal regulations preventing innovation.

Also read: Queensland, Australia Invests Portion of its $6.1Mil Ignite Ideas Fund in Crypto Startup

3,500 Bitcoin ATMs Installed Around the World announced this week a psychological milestone for the ecosystem had been reached: more than 3,500 bitcoin ATM machines are now installed all over the world. Not so long ago, BATMs were thought to a perfect onboarding tool, and especially in the United States.

Bitcoin ATMs Now In The Thousands Around the World

Americans are already trained on the basic tech, having had decades of automated ways to snag cash. That such machines could be placed where consumers are, rather than the customer having to seek it out, meant BATMs would be put in liquor stores, fast food restaurants, shopping malls, movie theatres, etc. It was just a matter of time until such convenience caught on.

That was before prices soured and the US federal government began cracking down on BATM operators. “No doubt, US regulations play a huge role in our business,” head of marketing at Blockchain BTM, Tim Curry stressed. “We would be able to provide many more services, and for much cheaper, were it not for a myriad of regulations we must comply with,” Mr. Curry explained to at this year’s Comic Con in San Diego, where his company was an exhibitor.

9 Per Day

Still, the fact so many BATMs are up and running, with a heavy concentration of those in the United States, and all this during a bear market, is testimony to BATMs’ potential power. “It’s a bank in a box,” Mr. Curry noted. “We can onboard someone faster than Coinbase, and in about two to three minutes from start to finish. No having to wait up to a week. No linking your personal bank account.” Blockchain BTM is largely focused on the California market at the moment, from the border with Mexico to about as far north as Bakersfield.

Bitcoin ATMs Now In The Thousands Around the World

Just shy of a year and a half ago, the ecosystem celebrated BATMs reaching four digits, 1,000, around the world. Of the approximate 3,500 installed across the globe, over 1,800 support alternative coins such as litecoin and ether. North America retains the greatest concentration of machines, with close to 2,600 installed between the United States and Canada.

At present, something on the order of 9 BATMs are being installed per day. Genesis Coin and General Bytes make up over half of all installations. Most machines are set to offramp from fiat, government paper, and onto crypto. However, markets seem to be seeking two-way alternative machines, allowing users to jump in and out of fiat and crypto, as those BATMs are growing in total market share.

Read the original post here 

Images via Pixabay.