The prices of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple’s XRP and Ethereum (ETH) has seen a tremendous increase of volume in the last couple of days. It seems that the cryptocurrencies are gaining recognition at a faster pace.
Recent financial figures in connection to firms such as BlackRock (BLK) and Morgan Stanley (MS) is also weighing in on the potential cryptocurrency bull market run.
Morgan Creek and Exos Financial filed a new Bitcoin fund with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, on Thursday. If approved, the fund will offer institutional investors another way to long the flagship cryptocurrency without the volatility of owning it outright.
Kevin Rooke reported Friday that the Morgan Creek-Exos Risk Management Bitcoin Fund has been filed with U.S. regulators. The fund intends to provide direct exposure to Bitcoin with inbuilt mechanisms to reduce allocation when quantitative signals turn negative.
As Rooke reports, the fund “handles technical details around trade, transfer, and custody of Bitcoin.”
Founded by Mark Yusko, Morgan Creek Capital Management provides alternative investment products. The firm operates a digital asset division that specializes in blockchain technology and Bitcoin investments.
Exos Financial is a business-to-business institutional finance platform that has been built to deliver all of the services of a traditional investment bank. The firm originates, trades and invests in alternative assets.
BlackRock (BLK)’s stance
The chief decision maker or chief investment officer for where BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, invests its funds said bitcoin could take the place of gold to a large extent because crypto is “so much more functional than passing a bar of gold around.”
During a recent Ethereum Foundation AMA, Vitalik Buterin explained his expectations for Ethereum 2.0.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently answered a number of community questions as part of an “ask me anything,” or AMA, session on Reddit. During the AMA, hosted by the Ethereum Foundation’s ETH 2.0 research team, Buterin said that he expects noticeable network improvements sooner rather than later.
“TLDR: merge happens faster, PoS happens faster, you get your juicy 100k TPS faster,” Buterin said on Wednesday as part of the foundation’s fifth AMA on ETH 2.0.
Ethereum’s network has suffered periods of high congestion at various points over the years, depending on various applications and related traffic. CryptoKitties slowed the Ethereum network to a crawl in 2017. More recently, decentralized finance activity has clogged Ethereum’s blockchain, leading to high fees and longer-than-average confirmation times.
Ethereum 2.0 poses a scaling solution that vastly increases the number of transactions per second. It will also move the blockchain to a different consensus algorithm known as proof-of-stake. Though the transition has faced a number of delays, the team says that it is currently aiming for a Dec. 1 launch date for ETH 2.0 Phase 0.
Rollup-centric upgrades, a simplified merge and the parallelization of phases are among the top revisions to ETH 2.0’s roadmap, according to Buterin, which impact the final network results. “All of these changes are designed to decrease the time until eth2 becomes useful to people,” Buterin said.
Scaling, in general, has been a hearty debate in the crypto space, not just with Ethereum but also for other assets, such as Bitcoin.
Smart contract functionality is now live on the XRP blockchain via Hooks. Already in October “Hooks” was introduced in the alpha version for the XRPL. Hooks is one of the most anticipated integrations for the XRP ledger and provides the first proprietary smart contract functionality for the XRP ecosystem. The chief developer Wietse Wind announced on Twitter a few hours ago that the code is now freely available to everyone and all node operators can use Hooks.
Wind has shared the code as well as a set of different commands for Docker, an app used to execute software from code packages, with the community that are necessary to use smart contracts on the XRP ledger. The official entry on Github with detailed instructions can be found here. Put simply, developers must follow two basic steps.
First, one node must be operated to view the logs and another to implement the commands for executing the smart contracts. Wind further emphasizes that there will be further updates and adjustments, and that this will initially be a collection of basic smart contract functions. Hooks is one of the most anticipated releases for the XRPL in 2020, along with the banking app XUMM. A developer wrote on Twitter that he has already prepared the basic setup of the virtual machine and will test Hooks extensively in the next few days.
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