Avner Meyrav
By Avner Meyrav
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Bakkt Bitcoin Futures go live today

Happy Futures Day! Starting today, and for the first time ever, Bitcoin futures, settled entirely with crypto (and not fiat currencies) will be available on the Bakkt platform. Some analysts predicted that the launch could send cryptos flying, however, the week started on a negative note, as the majority of top 10 cryptos (including Bitcoin) were in the red at the time of writing. The past week showed tremendous volatility in the altcoin market and we could have more of that this week.

Today’s Highlights

  • The Lira Launch
  • Zuck Goes to D.C.
  • Bakkt Launching Futures

Programming the Blockchain

Last week started with an announcement from eToro, introducing a brand new programming language aimed at creating blockchain-based smart contracts. On Sunday, the new language, dubbed Lira, was unveiled at the Ethereal Summit Tel Aviv 2019.

Lira was created specifically for financial use and will enable developers to use blockchain to simplify the creation of derivatives, using blockchain smart contracts.

Snowden Wants Bitcoin

Edward Snowden, perhaps the world’s most famous whistleblower, tweeted a cryptic message last Wednesday:

However, when examining the event preceding the tweet, Snowden’s statement becomes clearer. The controversial asylee recently published a new book on Amazon, which quickly became the top-selling book in the world. However, the U.S. government was not pleased, to say the least, with Snowden’s book, which is why the Department of Justice has filed a civil suit against Snowden, asking to seize all proceeds from book sales. Considering this backdrop, it is apparent that Snowden is reacting to calls on social media to make his book available for purchase using Bitcoin, since it will be much harder to seize than USD.

Mr Zuckerberg Goes to Washington

It seems that Facebook has been facing hurdle after hurdle in recent years, with the apex being the Cambridge Analytica scandal (whose ripples are still impacting the social network). However, one positive side effect of these events is that they prompted Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to come out of his shell and make himself more available for communication with government officials. Last week, Zuckerberg made a surprise visit to Washington, D.C., meeting with top government officials and even President Donald Trump. During the meeting, Zuck discussed upcoming legislation concerning his social network, and most likely, also discussed Project Libra, to be launched next year.

The Week Ahead

Today marks a milestone in cryptocurrency history, as for the first time ever, Bitcoin futures that are settled entirely in Bitcoin will be launched by Bakkt. While crypto derivatives have been introduced in the past by several leading exchanges, Bakkt will be the first that will deliver and receive payment exclusively using the popular crypto. On Thursday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will participate in a panel discussion about the future of financial services at the European Systemic Risk Board annual conference in Frankfurt, in which he may reveal some England’s post-Brexit plans and how the BOE’s monetary policy may relate to digital currencies. It will be interesting to see how the market reacts to these events and any other surprises this week will have in store.

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