Heading into the CME Bitcoin March futures expiration later today, the cryptocurrency is attempting to consolidate its position above the psychologically important $4,000 level and Ethereum has the $140 level in its sights. A break above will likely see the ETH look to retest $165 area and another break above towards $200 would likely spur retail flow back into the crypto market. It is still too premature to call, but should it materialize, this rally would be even more leverage driven than before given the number of new vendors that provide margin/leverage trading, as well as the futures and options on various crypto assets. At the same time, regulators are acutely aware of the fast-growing asset class and will be prepared to clamp down on cryptocurrency exchanges offering highly risky products to retail clients. On that note, Cointelegraph reported that Star Xu, founder of exchange services provider OKCoin and the world’s 6th largest crypto exchange OKEx, has announced OK Group’s partnership with blockchain-focused trust company Prime Trust, potentially allowing the firm to launch its own compliant stablecoin.
In other news, Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin is planning to create cryptocurrency tokens backed by palladium. According to press reports, Potanin, who is CEO of the Russian nickel and palladium mining and smelting company MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC (Nornickel), plans to deploy cryptocurrency tokens for trading palladium through a Switzerland-based palladium fund, and wants to launch several digital platforms.
Finally, Raul Jordan of the Ethereum Foundation-funded software development team Prysmatic Labs published an update titled – “Ethereum 2.0 Serenity Testnet Update — Closer Than Ever”. In summary, “after a long sprint of work, we are now on the brink of our public testnet release. Our plan is to release a public, single-client testnet for Phase 0 of the Ethereum 2.0 roadmap. We are currently targeting the v0.4 release of the official specification. The goal of this testnet is to have a highly available network that is resilient to forks, validator inactivity, and allows new validators to join the network to participate in Proof of Stake consensus according to the rules of the protocol.” Ethereum HODLers rejoice! The final Ethereum 2.0 release date wasn’t disclosed yet.
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