On Sept. 23, cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer announced that it is adding five new altcoins in Europe: Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Lisk (LSK) and Monacoin (MONA), which will be available immediately to its European customers, while bitFlyer U.S. customers will have immediate access to three of these coins: BCH, ETC, and LTC.
BitFlyer, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, is adding 5 new altcoins to its platforms in Europe and the United States.
Five new altcoins added in Europe, three in US
The exchange, which is one of the oldest in the industry, pointed out that these coins were already available to its Japanese customers and said that it will use that experience to facilitate the same service for its customers in Europe and the U.S. Andy Bryant, co-head of bitFlyer Europe said:
“By adding new altcoins, we are expanding bitFlyer’s Buy/Sell offer significantly, giving our customers instant access to some of the largest and most exciting altcoins in the world. […] By leveraging our experience in Japan, we can offer our European and US customers the same level of speed, simplicity and transparency as we already do for those trading Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
BitFlyer offers Bitcoin loyalty program and real estate business
Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 20, that bitFlyer and technology services company Tpoint Japan joined forces to allow local customers to exchange loyalty program points for Bitcoin (BTC) and earn rewards for paying in crypto.
Cointelegraph reported on another deal between a sister company of bitFlyer and Japanese commercial giant Sumitomo Corporation who partnered to launch a blockchain real estate business. Yuzo Kano, managing director of bitFlyer Blockchain, said at the time that the aim of the project was to enable rental parties to complete the entire process from smartphones.
Appetite for Bitcoin Futures Is Growing
Whether it was priced in to begin with, or never even factored into the reckoning of traders, few would dispute that Bakkt’s launch of bitcoin futures was anticlimactic. In the event, only 71 BTC was placed into contracts on Bakkt’s opening day, but as sanguine heads pointed out, Bakkt should be judged in a year – not a day. By that time, Intercontinental Exchange’s Bakkt platform will have been complemented by CME’s introduction of bitcoin options, which are scheduled to arrive in early 2020. The derivatives marketplace announced last week that it would be adding “additional tools for precision hedging and trading” of BTC. All going to plan, BCH futures will also be debuting on a CFTC-regulated exchange around the same time.
After all the fanfare, fevered anticipation, and breathless media coverage, Bakkt’s launch of bitcoin futures on Monday was a damp squib. Despite the rollout of physically delivered BTC futures going without a hitch, volumes were low, while the less said about bitcoin’s price in the aftermath, the better. Despite this inauspicious start, however, there is cause for confidence in the future of bitcoin futures.
Never Mind the Bakkt Lapse
John Jansen is the CEO of crypto derivatives exchange Deribit. He told news.Bitcoin.com: “With Bakkt’s physically delivered futures now live, and CME’s bitcoin options on their way, it’s essentially a waiting game for demand to pick up. Some retail investors have been laboring under the misconception that institutional adoption will jumpstart the crypto market, but the reality is far more nuanced. At Deribit, institutional interest has been growing steadily all year, with strong demand for bitcoin options that run all the way through till March 2020. We welcome the competition from traditional exchanges such as CME, which can only benefit bitcoin and the crypto space as a whole.”
BTC has had a rockyweek so far.
Liquidity and Liquidations
To see how much sway derivatives hold over the entire crypto market, one need only look at last night’s frenzied activity as BTC plummeted, liquidating hundreds of traders who were margin called. More than $700M was liquidated on Bitmex alone in the last 24 hours, while Deribit saw over $1 billion of volume, 85% of which was for BTC and the remainder on ETH. On Binance, futures volumes exceeded those for spot, amounting to $800M and $700M respectively. Despite the day creating more losers than winners, as traders who were long misjudged the mood and paid dearly, the volatility of September 24 showed that derivatives markets now guide the cryptosphere. Where futures lead, spot follows.
One matter that can be put to bed is the notion that through products such as Bakkt, institutional investors are just starting to gain exposure to bitcoin derivatives. The smart ones were here already, plying their trade in the trenches and trollboxes along with everyone else on Deribit and Bitmex. Bakkt might bring legitimacy and liquidity to the market, but it won’t bring institutional interest. It was here all along.