In the world that is overflowing with economic and geopolitical uncertainty, one thing remains constant and that is that crypto markets continue to defy well-established market correlation patterns. Leaving the endless trade talks and Brexit scenarios aside for the time being, the market was little affected by the reports of two oil tankers getting attacked in the Gulf of Oman. Brent crude was on course for its biggest single-session gain since January, which saw the international oil benchmark trade up almost 14% for 2019. Another development that may prove more pertinent to crypto firms, especially those that have ties to China, are the proposed amendments to the extradition laws in Hong Kong that would allow extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau. As a guide, Hong Kong has entered into extradition agreements with 20 countries, including the UK and the US, but an agreement with China has never been reached.
In terms of the broader market, Bitcoin (BTC) has stood its ground in early European trade, while the rest of the top 10 crypto assets have been trading in negative territory. Litecoin (LTC) is underperforming its peers, as market participants seem to be taking profit following the stellar gains the cryptocurrency posted this year ahead of its widely publicised reward halving in early August. This isn’t to say the uptrend is over, but the subdued appetite for risk, as evidenced by Bitcoin’s reluctance to test the key $10k level, will likely prevent Litecoin from significantly outperforming the market.
Month-to-date, EOS is down over 20%, largely on the back of profit taking following hype tied to new product/project releases earlier in the month, which, to a degree, failed to live up to the expectations. More interestingly, rumors are rife regarding the future of XRP, as it continues to face an uphill battle given the interest in Facebook’s crypto project which, according to press reports has sealed backing from over a dozen firms that include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber. Talks with some of the investment partners remain ongoing, the sources claimed, and the eventual list of consortium members could reportedly change. The consortium itself is allegedly to be known as the Libra Association. The WSJ’s sources reiterated details that had previously surfaced in regard to the highly secretive project, notably that the social media giant’s forthcoming crypto will be a fiat-pegged stablecoin, pegged to a basket of national currencies to combat price volatility.
Elsewhere, it was reported that testing of Bakkt's long-awaited bitcoin futures product is set to start Jul. 22, according to a blog post penned by its chief operating officer Adam White. The physically-delivered futures product was originally set to go live at the end of 2018 but has been set back by regulatory hurdles.
Finally, Binance has announced that it will stop serving US individual and corporate customers on its main platform, Binance.com. At the same time, it was reported that the exchange is setting up Binance US, a new trading platform specifically targeting U.S. customers, in partnership with a firm called BAM Trading Services. The platform will be operated by BAM, while using Binance’s wallet and matching engine technologies.
Thank you for reading,
The BeQuant’s Analytics team