Big Banks + ETH Blockchain = Heaven? 😇

In my humble opinion...

the futures are looking pretty good right now.

 

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The banks are seriously hopping on board with the Ethereum blockchain, and we're tentatively excited.

If you haven't checked the markets this morning, let's update you: Ethereum is seriously eyeing the $750 mark, and the cryptocurrency market cap is now over half a trillion USD. ETH has surged a little under 25% in the past 24 hours, and we have banks to thanks. UBS announced yesterday that they will take the lead on an Ethereum-based Blockchain initiative in conjunction with Credit Suisse, KBC, Barclay's, SIX (a Swiss stock exchange), and Thompson Reuters. Ethereum's market cap is now over $60 billion, larger than GM and Aetna. Hot damn. Litecoin is also having a pretty spectacular week, approaching a cool $350 per coin after tentatively crossing the $100 point on Friday. Litecoin's founder, Charlie Lee, went through the media circuit last week, promoting crypto as Bitcoin hit $15k and then $16k.

Crypto exchange Coinbase had to temporarily pause Ethereum and Litecoin trading yesterday because of their heightened price action, which didn't exactly go smoothly with users. Despite the outcry, Coinbase passed YouTube as the #1 most downloaded app on the App Store this morning. Crypto's having its mainstream moment, thanks to a combination of increased exposure in the media and Bitcoin's futures contracts running relatively smoothly since Sunday night. Bitcoin is up 1,675% year to date. Wow.

Also, don't be alarmed (seriously), but Bitcoin is officially now the "biggest bubble in history," successfully passing 'tulip mania' that shook the Dutch Golden Age and forever left its marks as an irreparable example of speculative investing. As for Bitcoin's bubble? Some authors argue that it's the best kind of mania possible, while others think it's not a bubble at all. A quick Google search brings up numerous results about buying crypto before its bubble "pops," but if the dot-com boom was any indication, its long-term use value is going to be incredible. Bitcoin's status as a bubble has long been a topic of debate, and we have more on this subject coming for you in the next few weeks – stay tuned.

While some banks are staking their territory in the crypto scene, others (*cough cough JPMorgan*) can't decide if they're in or out. It's confusing and annoying.

Yesterday, Morgan Stanley purchased 11.4% of Overstock.com (NASDAQ: OSTK), close to 3 million shares, and bumping the stock up 22%; a measly number compared to their overall growth this year, which comes closer to 200% YTD. Overstock.com was the first giant retailer to accept Bitcoin in 2014, and their CEO, Patrick Byrne, has been historically very open-minded concerning crypto. Just this morning, Byrne made headlines after suggesting he may sell the business to bankroll a blockchain-based startup, De Soto Inc. Maybe make that a side project, Patrick. We're liking the path Overstock.com is taking.Meanwhile, JPMorgan has been a bit more hesitant towards crypto, briefly considering offering Bitcoin futures for their clients, but later deciding to nix the opportunity altogether (boo). The Winklevoss twins, our favorite source of tech-related twin jokes, told JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon to "put your money where your mouth is," regarding shorting Bitcoin. AKA don't knock it until you try it. The twins are the first public Bitcoin billionaires (naturally, there are whales holding much more Bitcoin and living a lower-key lifestyle), and founded the Gemini exchange; the crypto network that is currently providing the daily settlements for Cboe's Bitcoin futures. The futures have shown some pretty intense volume fluctuations (the number of people using the service varied, a lot), which is expected from a highly anticipated product. Also, growing pains.

Bitcoin.com is going to come out with their very own Bitcoin Cash Visa debit card. The BTC vs. BCH rivalry continues!

President Donald Trump signed a military spending bill that slyly includes a blockchain cybersecurity research study.

Just a bubble? Japan certainly doesn't think so. Internet giant GMO is offering to pay employee salaries in Bitcoin. Sign us up.

Coin to Watch

Ethereum's (ETH) partnership looks incredibly promising – it's on a roll that's sure to make founder Vitalik Buterin happy.

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