Fidelity, Square, & Coinbase Launch Bitcoin Trade Group

This week, cryptocurrencies saw record highs and a market value that soared to top the $2 trillion mark — with $1 trillion held by Bitcoin alone. This coincided with some significant announcements made by some of the major players on the scene, some of which are being seen as revolutionary for the digital asset. 

Historic Trade Council Will Revolutionize Crypto Dealings

Some of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency industry, Coinbase, Square, and Fidelity have announced that they have formed a council that will aid in the creation of better framework laws and regulations for cryptocurrencies around the world. Aptly named The Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), this trade group is set to revolutionize the way crypto is regulated, offering up the path to legitimacy for assets that have long been deemed controversial. 

This council is also to serve as a lobbying force amongst policymakers, helping provide a much-needed crypto-friendly perspective for those creating legal frameworks for digital assets. Establishing laws that are seen as hospitable and friendly to cryptocurrencies can help eliminate digital assets’ biggest hurdle: legitimacy. By gaining legit status in a formalized and legal manner, those interested in cryptocurrencies would no longer be held back by fears of it suddenly becoming banned or illegal. 

The global alliance of crypto industry leaders in the Council aims to “demonstrate this transformational technology’s promise internationally to policymakers and regulators and to communicate its benefits to people around the world,” as stated in their press kit. This means that in tandem with lobbying efforts, the group will aim to showcase the benefits that cryptocurrencies provide. By demonstrating crypto’s transformative abilities in spurring economic growth and improving the world’s financial systems all the while enhancing privacy and security features, it is the hope of this Council that they are able to correct misconceptions about digital assets. 

Advocates of cryptocurrency are viewing the establishment of this group as a way to flip crypto’s uncertain future to one that is certain and regulated. With more institutional interest than ever in digital assets, the crypto market appears to be adequately primed for regulation. At what is being described as “a mainstream inflection point” for crypto by Paradigm’s co-founder and Coinbase’s former president Fred Ehrsam, the crypto market is currently seen as fragile. The Council aims to lobby for comprehensive laws that will allow the continued use and growth of digital assets around the world. 

Micro Bitcoin Futures Are Coming Soon

vAlso exciting on the crypto horizon is the launch of micro Bitcoin futures contracts, set to go live on May 3rd. The world’s largest derivatives exchange CME Group announced plans for micro bitcoin futures (MBT) pending regulatory approvals. 

At just one-tenth the size of one Bitcoin, Micro Bitcoin Futures offer a cost-effective way for gun-shy investors to dabble in crypto in a controlled risk manner. This is set to appeal to those who have an interest in Bitcoin but do not want to absorb the full risks often associated with the crypto market. The mini-futures would bring forth a new and previously untapped demographic of investors: the cautious non-institutional player. This move has also primed CME Group to be the largest Bitcoin liquidity marketplace. 

Speaking on the matter, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products Tim McCourt said, “The introduction of Micro Bitcoin futures responds directly to demand smaller-sized contracts from a broad array of clients and will offer even more choice and precision in how participants can trade regulated Bitcoin futures in a transparent and efficient manner at CME Group”. The new contracts are to be cash-settled and will allow investors to execute bitcoin trading strategies in a way that is cost-effective and with reduced risk. 

CME Group also launched Ether futures contracts just months ago on February 8th, a move that managed to drive over $33 million in volume on the first day alone. This was seen as a big milestone for Ethereum as it provided Ether the legitimacy that it had long vied for, and gave institutions an accessible way to invest in the cryptocurrency at a slightly reduced risk. The launch of Ether’s futures contracts also coincided with the digital asset soaring in value. 

CME Group currently holds 10,500 Bitcoin contracts, each of which hold five Bitcoin. That corresponds into a market impact of 52,500 Bitcoin, or a current value of $1,559,250. The launch of their micro contracts next month are set to have a major impact on both the price and adoption of Bitcoin. 

Market Value, Ether Prices Hit All-Time-Highs

All this coincides with the crypto market value topping $2 trillion, with record prices for Ether as well. Ether’s all-time high this week amounted to $2,151, translating into 180% year-to-date gains. In just two months, the crypto market’s capitalization doubled coinciding with major institutional investors, with the world’s biggest coin Bitcoin amounting to half. 

The Crypto Council for Innovation could very well give cryptocurrencies much sought-after legitimacy, further driving prices and adoption upwards. With the presence of a regulatory body that is pushing crypto-friendly legislation forward, investors and onlookers may find that to be the assurance needed to finally view crypto as an asset that is here to stay. 

At the time of publishing, Bitcoin was trading at $58,000 with the influx of announcements having had a positive effect on its overall pricing. 

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