The Intersection: Crypto and Wall Street This Week
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: 1. BITCOIN DROPS AMID DEVELOPER DISPUTE: Bitcoin fell 15% to $5,507 from roughly $6,500 Saturday before rising close to $6,400 amid a dispute among developers about the future of the cryptocurrency, CNBC reported Sunday. Supporters of bitcoin cash, which split off from bitcoin in August via an upgrade to increase the block size to eight megabytes from one, have been promoting the offshoot on Twitter (TWTR). Bitcoin cash rose to a high of roughly $2,477 before dropping about 50% to a $1,224 low Sunday. Additionally, bitcoin gold, designed to make mining less dependent on specialized technology, launched Sunday. 2. BITCOIN HITS HIGH: Bitcoin hit an all-time high on Friday amid reports that a small number of miners might attempt to go forward with the Segwit2x software upgrade, which had been suspended last week, Reuters reported, citing a Coinbase statement. "To protect customer funds, Coinbase will disable Bitcoin sends and receives at 2 a.m. PT on November 17, and disable buys and sells an hour before the fork, which is currently predicted to occur between 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. PT. All functionality will be re-enabled shortly afterwards," said Coinbase, which also announced on Thursday that it would launch Coinbase Custody, a company enabling institutional investors to securely store digital assets. 3. SQUARE TESTS BITCOIN BUYING: Square (SQ) is now offering users the option to buy, sell or hold cryptocurrency on its Cash app, Forbes reported Tuesday. "We're always listening to our customers and we've found that they are interested in using the Cash App to buy bitcoin," a company spokesperson said. "We're exploring how Square can make this experience faster and easier, and have rolled out this feature to a small number of Cash App customers. We believe cryptocurrency can greatly impact the ability of individuals to participate in the global financial system and we're excited to learn more here." Credit Suisse analyst Paul Condra said while the impact of Square adding the bitcoin feature is uncertain, he believes it could place Square in an early-mover position as a mainstream fin-tech company providing cryptocurrency services. Condra reiterated a Neutral rating and $31 price target on Square shares. 4. CME CEO SEES TOUGH RISK STANDARDS: CME Group (CME) chief executive officer Terry Duffy said traders attracted to bitcoin futures will face tougher risk standards due to the cryptocurrency's high volatility, the Financial Times reported on Thursday. The CEO said traders of CME bitcoin futures may have to deposit close to 30% of their value as collateral and no bitcoin futures trading will be allowed at prices 20% above or below the previous day's settlement. "Listen, it's no mystery, this is a different product," Duffy said. "We want to get out something that's safe." The comments come as Chicago competitor CBOE Global Markets (CBOE) prepares a rival offering for bitcoin futures. 5. CRYPTO CHATTER: On Wednesday, David Gledhill, group chief information officer for DBS (DBSDY) told CNBC the bank sees "bitcoin as a bit of a Ponzi scheme" adding transactions are "incredibly expensive" and "all the fees are hidden through the crypto-mechanisms." Additionally, Morgan Stanley (MS) CEO James Gorman told CNBC on Thursday that bitcoin it getting more attention than it deserves."Something that goes up 700% in a year - it's by definition speculative," he said. "So anybody who thinks they're buying something that it's a stable investment is deluding themselves." UBS (UBS) chief investment officer Mark Haefele said Friday that bitcoin has not attained the critical mass necessary to be considered a viable currency for investment and added it lacks regulation, Bloomberg reported. "All it would take would be one terrorist incident in the U.S. funded by bitcoin for the U.S. regulator to much more seriously step in and take action, " he said. "That's a risk, an unquantifiable risk, bitcoin has that another currency doesn't." Meanwhile British hedge fund Man Group (MNGPY) said it could enter cryptocurrencies if CME launches bitcoin futures, Reuters reported Tuesday. "Conceptually digital currencies are an interesting thing," CEO Luke Ellis said. "It's not part of our investment universe today - it could be. If there is a CME future on bitcoin, it would be." 6. BITCOIN STOCK PLAYS: Cryptocurrency revenues have been pointed to as reasons to be bullish on Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Nvidia (NVDA) in select research. PRICE ACTION: As of time of writing, bitcoin rose about 18.4% this week, or $1,209, to $7,794 in U.S. dollars according to CoinDesk. Meanwhile, AMD shares rose 1.8% to $11.45 this week and Nvidia dropped 2% on a weekly basis to $211.33. Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) rose 6.2% this week to $919. WANT BITCOIN NEWS ALERTS?: To receive alerts on stories relating to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Fly subscribers can enter "Bitcoin" into the "Add symbols" box of their portfolios.