Cryptocurrency trading platform Crypto Facilities has added Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to its list of futures products, announcing in a press release that the product would go live at 4PM BST Friday, August 17.Crypto Facilities, which rose to prominence when it partnered with CME Group on its first-of-its kind Bitcoin futures in December 2017, said the move reflected Bitcoin Cash’s status as a “top five coin” by market cap.The platform already offers Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) futures.“We are pleased to be expanding our cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the launch of [Bitcoin Cash] futures,” CEO Timo Schlaefer commented in the release.“BCH is a top five coin with a market capitalization of around $10 billion [...] and we expect our new contracts to spur the evolution of the crypto markets by bringing greater liquidity and transparency to the digital asset class.”Prospective investors will now be able to gain exposure to BCH in what reportedly constitutes the first FCA-regulated futures options for the cryptocurrency.The move comes at a time when Bitcoin Cash is receiving mixed press attention over purported plans by mining giant Bitmain to perform an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the near future.The company had traded almost all its Bitcoin holdings for Bitcoin Cash, leading many commentators to raise concerns over giant liquidity problems due to BCH’s relatively illiquid trading market.Meanwhile, developers this week released a new protocol allowing the release of Initial Coin Offering (ICO) tokens on the Bitcoin Cash network.
According to the Deloitte 2018 global blockchain survey, almost 39% of the respondents were of the view that blockchain technology was ‘overhyped’.In the study in which over 1,000 blockchain-savvy executives at firms boasting annual revenues of $0.5 billion or more in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France and China were polled, this perception was stronger in the world’s largest economy.“Despite enterprise digital respondents’ interest in blockchain’s capabilities, nearly 39 percent of the broad global sample said they believe blockchain is “overhyped.” In the United States, this number is higher: 44 percent of respondents view blockchain as overhyped, up from 34 percent in a 2016 survey by Deloitte,” notes the survey.In the opinion of the big-four accounting firm, part of the reason for this perception was the steep rise in the values of tokens in the last one and a half years with the respondents conflating decentralized ledger technology with tokens which are just the incentive layer of public blockchains. Additionally, this could be a reflection of a shift towards pragmatism in the blockchain arena.No Cause for WorryHowever, Deloitte assured that this was not an indication that blockchain technology was headed in the wrong direction.“Because we are still early in blockchain’s development, these fits and starts in its maturation are not surprising,” the survey noted.This was supported by the fact that investments in blockchain technology continue to increase with the percentage of firms investing $10 million or more in blockchain technology being in the double digits according to the same survey. In the United States, 13% of the respondents revealed that their companies were allocating $10 million or more in blockchain technology this year while in the United Kingdom it was 15%.Mexico and France recorded the highest percentage of firms making significant investments at 21% and 20% respectively. China and Canada tied at 18% while at 12% Germany recorded the lowest number of firms intending to invest $10 million or more in the disruptive technology.Blockchain’s Unique Selling PropositionWhen asked what significant advantage blockchain possessed over current systems, 32% of the respondents said it was speed while 28% said it possessed the potential to spur new business models as well as new revenue sources. About 16% said it helped in cutting costs while 21% said it enhanced security and reduced risk.Compared to conventional technologies and systems, 84% of the respondents said blockchain was more secure. Only 8% said it was less secure while 8% were unsure.Of all the existing blockchain models, the most popular one among business organizations was permissioned blockchain with 52% of the respondents saying this is what their firm was focusing on. Public blockchains and private blockchains had an equal share with 44% of respondents in each case disclosing this is what they were concentrating on. Around 36% of the respondents indicated they had their sights on the consortium blockchain model.Rubber Meets the RoadIn the survey, Deloitte noted that momentum has also shifted from a focus on learning and exploration to the identification and development of practical business applications.“While blockchain is not quite ready for primetime, it is getting closer to its breakout moment every day,” said the report authored by Deloitte’s David Schatsky, Linda Pawczuk and Rob Massey.
A Russian independent electoral watchdog is trialing a blockchain-based electronic voting system, local news platform Tass reports August 17.The non-profit Association of Independent Public Observers, dubbed "National Public Monitoring" (NOM), announced the pilot at a press conference in Moscow on Friday. NOM federal coordinator Roman Kolomystev, told reporters:“As part of our congress, we are launching a pilot electronic voting system built on a blockchain system."The inaugural Russian Congress of Public Observers was held on the initiative of NOM, alongside the Russian Fund for Free Elections and the Association of Lawyers of the Russian Federation, Tass reports.Other partners of the event were reportedly the Corps for Clean Elections, the People's Observer, and Public Association Group 32. Tass cites Kolomoytsev as saying that the event was attended by an audience of 300.Russia has been embroiled in trying to pass crypto and blockchain legislation since the beginning of January. This spring saw the State Duma accept a first reading of a package of draft bills concerning crypto and blockchain, but the Russian government has yet to formally approve the statutes as law.As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Ukraine’s Electoral Commission is also reportedly currently working with NEM on a series of experiments to apply blockchain technology to electoral voting.In the U.S., select residents of the state of West Virginia will be able to use a mobile, blockchain-based app for voting in the federal elections this November. The mobile voting platform, Voatz, employes facial recognition software to ensure that each voter matches their government-issued identification. Use of the app will be restricted to members of the armed forces serving overseas.
Bitcoin cash, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, took another step into the big leagues on Friday when a European derivatives trading platform launched the first regulated, USD-denominated bitcoin cash futures.This product, which began trading on the U.K.-based Crypto Facilities on Friday at 4 p.m. local time, allows investors to bet on the future price movements of bitcoin cash, as well as hedge risk in their overall cryptocurrency portfolios.“We are pleased to be expanding our cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the launch of Bitcoin Cash futures,” said Crypto Facilities CEO Timo Schlaefer in a statement. “BCH is a top five coin with a market capitalisation of around $10 billion and we expect our new contracts to spur the evolution of the crypto markets by bringing greater liquidity and transparency to the digital asset class.”“This is another example of how Bitcoin Cash is proving itself to be one of the most innovative and useful cryptocurrencies in the world,” added BCH evangelist Roger Ver.Tokyo-based trading and investment firm Profluent Japan says that it will make markets in the new bitcoin cash futures markets.“Profluent Japan welcomes the opportunity to make markets in BCH derivatives on the Crypto Facilities platform. The institutional trading community was in great need of a proper BCH hedging mechanism at an FCA-registered exchange with a first class management team,” said Profluent Group CEO Bert Mouler. “Crypto Facilities is the first to provide such a service.”In addition to BCH, Crypto Facilities has also launched futures products for bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, and litecoin. Earlier this year, Crypto Facilities CEO Tim Schlaefer told CCN that the platform has seen strong growth in 2018 despite the bear market. He said that volume had increased 84 percent between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018 and that he expected Q2 volume to double that of Q1.Notably, Crypto Facilities is one of several cryptocurrency exchanges that provide pricing data used in Chicago-based derivatives exchange CME’s cryptocurrency reference rates. To date, CME has launched reference rates for bitcoin and ether, and the former has been used as the foundation for the platform’s bitcoin futures product. Consequently, the launch of BCH derivatives products on this platform could be the first step toward eventually seeing bitcoin cash futures listed on a major exchange.