Remitano weekly: Bitcoin (BTC) price analysis, Yale University invests in crypto fund

Remitano gladly brings you some of the most highlighted news from 2 Oct – 9 Oct.

1. Bitcoin (BTC) price analysis, October 9

The Bitcoin-to-Dollar exchange rate on Monday surged 2 percent against the US Dollar from 6590-fiat to 6729-fiat on bottom formation sentiment and increased institutional investments.

The Bitcoin had a steady week, rising and dropping within a specific range with its trend facing upward. Many believe the digital currency has found its bottom and a massive investment from David Swensen, a prominent investor, made recently into two crypto funds have authenticated the speculation. It could be a reason Bitcoin is rejecting bears. The price yesterday almost formed a Doji on its uptrend, confirming an indecisive selling sentiment in the Bitcoin market.

BTC/USD Technical Indicators

From a technical standpoint, the daily chart could be interpreted marginally bullish, but assuredly so.

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The daily chart shows Bitcoin has been rising steeply since June 28 lows but with extreme bearish pressure at the descending trendline above. It is still too early to fancy a long-term uptrend. As of now, Bitcoin is once again attempting a break above the falling ascending trendline. The weak action in RSI, which is a momentum indicator, make it more likely for Bitcoin to form higher highs upon closing the current candle. The Stochastic Oscillator somewhat tells the same story as that of the RSI.

The forthcoming events in October and November can provide the much-needed boost. One event that will be keenly watched is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision on the fate of nine Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), set to be made before Nov. 5.

2. Yale University invests in crypto fund that raised $400 Million

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Yale University, the Ivy League school that has invested in everything from Puerto Rican bonds to timber in New Hampshire, is getting into the market for cryptocurrencies.

The second-largest endowment in higher education is among investors that helped a new fund focused on digital assets raise $400 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The fund, called Paradigm, was recently started by Coinbase Inc. co-founder Fred Ehrsam, former Sequoia Capital partner Matt Huang, and Charles Noyes, an ex-employee of crypto fund Pantera Capital. Paradigm, which counts venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital as an investor, plans to invest in early-stage projects focused on cryptocurrencies, new blockchains and exchanges.

Yale, whose nearly $30 billion endowment is headed by David Swensen, is among the few large institutions to invest in the cryptocurrency market. Swensen’s endorsement of crypto assets is significant because he’s considered a pioneer in institutional investing, having managed one of the most-watched and best-performing college endowments for three decades. Many other endowments have sought to replicate his investment model, which favors a longer time horizon and committing capital to more illiquid assets, including private equity.

U.S. college endowments hold about $550 billion in assets, and Yale has the second largest in higher education, behind Harvard. Under Swensen’s leadership, Yale has returned 11.8 percent on average for the past 20 years.

3. Dubai: government-backed digital currency will get its own payment system

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Dubai residents will soon have the means to make payments for school fees, bills and other retail purchases with emCash, a state-developed blockchain-based digital currency.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s first official credit bureau – emCredit – under the Dubai Department of Economic Development is pushing its official blockchain-encrypted state digital currency emCash for wider adoption by rolling out point-of-sale (PoS) devices at government storefronts across Dubai.

PoS devices will also be deployed at retail storefronts, enabling both citizens and residents of Dubai to make purchases following a partnership with blockchain payments provider Pundi X.

A spokesperson for the state-backed subsidiary emCredit stated: “To be the world’s first city to offer blockchain-based payment solutions to our residents is an exciting moment for Dubai…Deploying cutting-edge technology such as blockchain is a key priority and is delivering benefits to our citizens in the form of convenience and securities to customers and merchants across Dubai.”

The entire ecosystem consisting of the digital currency, the smartphone application and the PoS terminals will see development and testing before their approval by government regulators this financial year.

4. US SEC sets November 5 deadline for reviewing nine Bitcoin ETF applications

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has outlined a time frame for reviewing proposed rule changes related to a series of applications to list and trade various Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The review period affects nine separate ETFs that have been proposed by three different applicants, according to documents filed by the SEC yesterday, Oct. 4.

The new amendments affect a pair of BTC ETFs that had been submitted by ProShares in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ETF exchange NYSE Arca. The other affected applications are the five further proposed ETFs from Direxion, also for listing on NYSE Arca – and two proposals from GraniteShares, for listing on CBOE.

The SEC has solicited  “any party or other person” to file a statement in support or rejection of the proposed BTC ETFs by Nov. 5.

The regulator has outlined that its prior orders disapproving proposed rule changes for all three applicants’ proposals will remain in effect pending the Commission’s review. In a separate notice, the SEC has filed amendments to specific changes and clarifications that had been put forward by GraniteShares regarding its proposed models of operation.

As reported in late August, the SEC had chosen to review its decision to reject the nine ETF proposals, just a day after it disapproved them. The regulator had found that the products did not comply with the requirements by the “Exchange Act Section 6(b)(5), in particular the requirement that a national securities exchange’s rules be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices.”

5. Bitcoin’s block size can be increased without hard fork, says Blockstream co-founder

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The problem of Bitcoin scalability is one of the major topics of discussion around the top cryptocurrency. Bitcoin (BTC) protocol developer Mark Friedenbach has introduced a method for Bitcoin scaling he claims will not require a hard fork at a workshop in Tokyo October 5.

The new concept presented at the Scaling Bitcoin workshop, entitled “Forward Blocks,” suggests a major on-chain capacity boost by means of a Proof-of-Work (PoW) alternation that is done as a soft fork, combined with use of alternative private ledgers.

The proposal describes a method for scaling that claims to be able to increase “settlement transaction volume to 3584x current levels” and improve censorship resistance via sharding.

In his presentation, Friedenbach emphasized the role of sharding for increased censorship resistance, noting that he borrowed the “sharding” term from the “database field.” However, the term that is described in the research is “largely not” the sharding that is implied by other major crypto-related projects, but is “nevertheless the correct term to use” in terms of the study.

The sharding term has garnered most popularity in reference to the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain’s upcoming major upgrades. Announced in reference to Ethereum’s by its co-founder Vitalik Buterin in April 2018, the term implies a method of increasing the number of transactions that a blockchain can process. The idea of sharding is that for on-chain transactions, multiple network computers can divide the transaction workload between them.

Friedenbach, who is also a former NASA contractor, claimed in his talk that he did not set out to consider Bitcoin scaling solutions originally, but was thinking about “the development of a dual PoW change where you introduce a new PoW with a soft-fork.” While suggesting the addition of another PoW algorithm, the developer stressed that his work is not actually a proposal for subsequent changes, but rather an idea for developers to consider and “a good place to start.”

6. World’s fifth largest airline firm explores Blockchain to cut costs for customers

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European airline holding company Air France-KLM –  world’s fifth largest air company by revenue in 2018 – has partnered with blockchain travel ecosystem Winding Tree. The goal of the partnership is to reduce costs for the company’s customers by cutting out intermediaries. The news was published on its official website Thursday, Oct. 4.

Air France-KLM hopes blockchain will help it provide “a more advantageous travel offer for customers which is more profitable for suppliers, in particular by reducing the number of intermediaries.” Sonia Barriere, the executive vice president for Strategy and Innovation at Air France-KLM, thinks that blockchain will “revolutionise exchanges within the travel industry” both for customers and companies.

Airlines might use blockchain to not only simplify the booking process, but also to launch loyalty programmes, to track luggage and improve airport logistics, as well as to prevent overbooking, etc

For example, Russian airline S7 has partnered with the state-owned natural gas giant Gazprom to use blockchain-based smart contracts for aircraft fuelling on domestic flights. And Singapore Airlines has launched a blockchain-based loyalty digital wallet, co-developed with Microsoft.

7. BlackBerry introduces Blockchain-backed platform focused on healthcare services

As part of its pivot into security and computing, software company and former smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry has released a blockchain-powered platform. The new product  focuses on the healthcare field, according to a press release published Oct. 4.

BlackBerry has partnered with technology firm ONEBIO to develop a blockchain-backed “ultra-secure” ecosystem. The system is designed for the storage and sharing of medical data, where information can be entered by patients, laboratories, and Internet of Things (IoT) biometric devices. Once entered, data will further be anonymized and shared with researchers.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said: “We are applying our expertise in security, data privacy, and communication work in regulated industries such as automotive, financial services, and government to tackle one of the biggest challenges in the healthcare industry: leveraging healthcare endpoints to improve patient outcomes while ensuring security and data privacy.

Among other products, BlackBerry has also presented a real-time operating system for the development of robotic surgical instruments, patient monitoring systems, and other safety-critical products that must pass regulatory approval.

While BlackBerry is still in the smartphone business — it will release its latest smartphone iteration on Oct. 10 — the recent blockchain initiative is indicative of the firm’s move into other fields. Today, BlackBerry also announced a new quantum-resistant code signing service that will “allow software to be digitally signed using a scheme that will be hard to break with a quantum computer.”

Collected by Remitano