Binance launches quarterly bitcoin futures as Galaxy Digital, Bakkt partner for trading, custody service
As bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrencies get increasing attention from investors, Wall Street and its traditional banks continue to adjust to the shift. Catch up on this week's top stories highlighting the intersection of these old guard and new school areas of finance with this recap compiled by The Fly.
BINANCE LAUNCHES QUARTERLY BITCOIN FUTURES: In a Thursday blog post, crypto exchange Binance announced it has launched bitcoin quarterly future contracts. The company said, “Binance is excited to announce the official launch of the BTCUSD Quarterly Futures contract with leverage up to 125x, now available on the Binance Futures web trading interface. The Mobile version will be made available at a later date. As part of this launch, users will receive 30 days of maker fee rebates and enjoy as low as 0.020% in taker fees when trading on the BTCUSD Quarterly Futures Contract from 2020/06/11 08:00 AM to 2020/07/10 08:00 AM…The BTCUSD Quarterly Futures Contract is Binance’s first derivative contract with a set expiration and settlement date. The contract is settled in the denominated BTC asset and will expire on the last Friday of the corresponding three-month period.”
GALAXY DIGITAL PARTNERS WITH BAKKT: Galaxy Digital and Bakkt, the digital asset derivatives trading and custody platform majority-owned by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), announced Wednesday their partnership to launch a collaborative white-glove service for asset managers looking to acquire, build positions in and store bitcoin. Galaxy Digital Trading is providing market access and trading capabilities, while the Bakkt Warehouse, a qualified custodian of bitcoin regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services, is safeguarding digital assets for clients. This direct connectivity between Galaxy Digital and Bakkt enables the two companies to offer clients efficiency through the entire process of onboarding, trade execution and storage of their digital assets.
BITPAY LAUNCHES PREPAID MASTERCARD: Crypto firm BitPay announced Thursday the launch of a prepaid Mastercard (MA). The company said in a blog posting: "BitPay is excited to announce the release of the first ever US prepaid Mastercard that can be loaded with dollars that are converted from cryptocurrency. With instant card reloads, no conversion fees, a $10,000 daily load and spending limit, and the ability to spend at millions of locations worldwide, the new BitPay Card will enable you to live your life on crypto.”
RIOT RELOCATES BITMAIN MINERS: Riot Blockchain (RIOT) announced Wednesday the relocation of its 4,000 Bitmain S17 Pro miners from Oklahoma City to Coinmint's facility in Massena, New York. The Coinmint energy pricing and hosting arrangement is expected to significantly decrease the direct cost of BTC production while also appreciably increasing mining uptime. Additionally, Riot now has a path forward to continue expanding its total hashing capacity. During May and early June, Riot relocated 4,000 Bitmain S17 Pros to Massena, New York. To date, 75% of the miners have been deployed, and all miners are expected to be fully deployed by June 15. On May 11, the BTC halving occurred, which halves the rate at which new BTC are awarded. The halving decreased each block reward from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC. The halving affects both the production and future supply of BTC. In consideration of low operating efficiencies due to the halving, all of the company's remaining prior generation Bitmain S9 miners were taken off-line and have since been sold. Riot now operates approximately 4,000 Bitmain S17 Pros with an aggregate hashing power capacity of 248 Petahash per second.
MARATHON BUYS BITMAIN MINERS: Marathon Patent Group (MARA) announced Thursday the purchase of an additional 500 Bitmain S19 Pro Miners. The 500 miners will produce 110 TH/s and generate 55 PH/s of hashing power, bringing the company's total Hashrate to approximately 240 PH/s when fully deployed. This compares to the company's previous S-9 production of 46 PH/s. The purchase price paid was $1.19M. The purchase of an additional 500 S19 Pro Miners brings the total miners purchased in the past month to 2,360 units. The company is expecting delivery and installation of 1,160 Bitmain S19 Pro ASIC Miners in approximately the next 30-60 days, followed by the remaining 500 shortly thereafter.
CRYPTO STOCK PLAYS: Cryptocurrency revenues have been pointed to as reasons to be bullish on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) in select research. Overstock (OSTK), DPW Holdings (DPW), Kodak (KODK), Ideanomics (IDEX), Riot Blockchain, Pareteum (TEUM) and Social Reality (SRAX) are other stocks that have been touted, or promoted themselves, as a way to play the crypto theme.
PRICE ACTION: As of time of writing, bitcoin dropped roughly 2.2% this week to $9,495 in U.S. dollars, according to TradeBlock.