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Cryptocurrency (Coins)

New ICE Bakkt Cryptocurrency Trading Platform’s Impact on Bitcoin Ecosystem

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A Detailed Look at Bakkt and Its Impact

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is launching a startup called Bakkt to make the cryptocurrency safe. Bakkt, which is expected to launch in November, will offer a federally regulated market for Bitcoin. With the creation of Bakkt, ICE aims to transform Bitcoin into a trusted global currency with broad usage.

To achieve that vision, ICE is partnering with heavyweights from the world of technology, consulting, and retail: Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Starbucks. ICE did not immediately disclose the total investment of the investment partners, a group which also includes Fortress Investment Group, Eagle Seven, and Susquehanna International Group—or the ownership stakes.

ICE’s founder, Jeffrey Sprecher, was the heart and brain behind this venture. His wife, Kelly Loeffler who is currently the chief communications and marketing officer of ICE, will be the CEO of Bakkt. Sprecher says:

“Bitcoin can’t survive as a rogue idea”

“To evolve, the cryptocurrencies need to run on established infrastructure. They need the trust and rules that have been built into our financial system for many years. They need the kind of trust that the Big Board represents.”

ICE and its partners have been “building the factory” that will power Bakkt in the strictest secrecy for the past 14 months. The name of the company was only decided just last month. Loeffler explains that “Bakkt” is a play on “backed,” as in “asset-backed securities,” and it’s meant to evoke a highly-trusted investment.

If the Bakkt blueprint works as planned, a surge of new Bitcoin funds would tap the demand for the cryptocurrency, making it a safe and easy choice for everyday investors—notably millennial's getting their first 401(k)s. Wall Street could then tap Bitcoin’s popularity as an alternative to stocks and bonds to generate giant trading volumes. And that flood of institutional buying and selling, in turn, would take the terror out of Bitcoin by smoothing its wild swings in price.

How Did ICE Take Decisions on Digital Currencies?

To study how digital currencies work, ICE in early 2015 took a minority stake in the largest U.S.-based marketplace for digital currencies, Coinbase. “Coinbase has twice as many customers as Charles Schwab,” says Loeffler.

“Many of the people who have opened accounts on Coinbase are millennials who use it to make small investments in crypto-currencies.”

Sprecher says:

“Millennials don’t trust traditional financial institutions. To gain their trust, banks, brokerages, and asset managers can use a currency that millennials believe in, like Bitcoin. Using digital currencies brings a lot of sizzle.”

Currently, cryptocurrencies have gained little traction with asset managers like Fidelity and Vanguard. The reason, says Sprecher, is that “Bitcoin does not have a good market structure.” For consumers, it’s expensive to exchange dollars for Bitcoin, in part because trading is spread thinly across too many venues that individually do too little trading. He notes that more than 200 marketplaces trade over a dozen major digital currencies, from ether to Ripple to Litecoin. “Even for Bitcoin, different markets are posting lots of different prices,” says Sprecher.

“And you can pay an up to 6% spread to exchange dollars for Bitcoin, meaning Bitcoin needs to rise by as much 6% before you break even.”

Can Bitcoin Replace Credit Cards?

“Bakkt is designed to serve as a scalable on-ramp for institutional, merchant, and consumer participation in digital assets by promoting greater efficiency, security, and utility,” said Kelly Loeffler, ICE’s head of digital assets, who will serve as CEO of Bakkt.

“We are collaborating to build an open platform that helps unlock the transformative potential of digital assets across global markets and commerce.”

Why haven’t other institutional investors hopped onto Bitcoin bandwagon?

For Sprecher and Loeffler, the reason is fundamental—and fixable. “Two things are missing,” says Sprecher.

“Trading on an official exchange, and safe storage for digital currencies on an institutional scale.”

Put simply, Sprecher says, the big money managers won’t create digital currency funds unless they can first buy the tokens on a federally regulated exchange, and, second, store the tokens for their investors in accounts rendered super-secure by the safeguards provided by those exchanges.

The Biggest Impact of Bitcoin

The retail industry, according to Sprecher will undergo the biggest disruption. Today, Americans charge $7 trillion in goods and services every year—around 60% of GDP—on credit and debit cards, and through digital portals such as PayPal. The stores and restaurants that accept those cards typically pay 2% to 3% to around six intermediaries, including “merchant acquirers” who sign up the merchants, credit card giants such as Visa and MasterCard, and the banks that issue the cards.

It’s hard to overstate how drastically a shift to Bitcoin could crunch those lofty fees. Consumers could pay for groceries or detergent directly from the Bitcoin wallets on their iPhones or PCs, right from a scanner at Walmart or Starbucks, with no banks taking fees in the middle. If Bitcoin became the chief currency for retail, it’s likely that credit cards would disappear.

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Ripple (XRP)

Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD Primed For Further Gains

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Ripple Price Analysis XRP Chart

Ripple price surged higher recently above $0.4400 and $0.4600. XRP to USD is currently correcting lower, but the $0.4255 level is likely to act as a strong support and buy zone.

Key Takeaways: XRP/USD

  • Ripple price traded to a new monthly high at $0.4625 and recently corrected lower against the US Dollar.
  • XRP/USD is testing the $0.4320 support and a major bullish trend line on the 2-hours chart (data feed from Bitstamp).
  • Bitcoin price is also correcting lower from well above $9,400 and Ethereum price is currently below $270.00.

Ripple Price Analysis

Earlier this week, bitcoin price extended gains above $9,300 and $9,400. It helped ripple and its price recently started a strong rise above the $0.4200, $0.4320 and $0.4400 resistance levels. XRP even broke the $0.4500 level and traded to a new monthly high.

Looking at the 2-hours chart, ripple price even traded above the $0.4600 level and settled well above the 50 simple moving average (2-hours, purple). A high was formed at $0.4625 and recently, the price started a sharp downside correction.

Ripple Price Analysis XRP Chart

There was a break below the $0.4520 support and the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from $0.4254 to $0.4625. Moreover, the price broke the $0.4400 support level.

It is currently testing the $0.4320 support and a major bullish trend line on the 2-hours chart. The 76.4% Fib retracement level of the recent wave from $0.4254 to $0.4625 is also acting as a support.

If there is a downside break, the price could test the main support near the $0.4255 level. As long as ripple price is above $0.4255, it is likely to bounce back in the near term.

An initial resistance is near the $0.4400 level, above which ripple is likely to continue higher towards the $0.4480 and $0.4500 levels. If the bulls regain strength, XRP price could even retest the $0.4625 swing high.

Overall, ripple price is trading with a strong bullish bias above $0.4255 and $0.4150. Therefore, there are high chances of a fresh increase above the $0.4400 and $0.4480 resistance levels in the coming sessions.

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Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin Price Analysis: BTC Surging, Next Stop Could Be $9,750

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Bitcoin Price Analysis BTC Price

In the past few days, there were strong gains in bitcoin price above $9,000. BTC to USD is surging and it seems like it could even trade towards the $9,750 or $9,800 level in the near term.

Key Takeaways: BTC/USD

  • Bitcoin price is surging higher and is positioned nicely above the $9,000 level against the US Dollar.
  • BTC/USD broke a crucial barrier near $9,200 and a contracting triangle resistance on the 2-hours chart (data feed from Bitstamp).
  • Ethereum, ripple, and bitcoin cash also gaining traction and moving higher.

Bitcoin Price Analysis

After setting above the $8,500 resistance, bitcoin price started a strong upward move. BTC surpassed many hurdles near the $8,850 and $9,000 levels to continue higher in the past few sessions.

Looking at the 2-hours chart, bitcoin even settled above the $9,100 level and the 50 simple moving average (2-hours, purple). The bulls gained traction and the price recently traded to a new 2019 high at $9,403.

Bitcoin Price Analysis BTC Price

It corrected lower from $9,403 and declined below the $9,200 and $9,100 levels. However, the price found support near $8,825 and it remained well above the 50 simple moving average (2-hours, purple).

Recently, it climbed back above $9,100 and broke a crucial barrier near $9,200 plus a contracting triangle resistance on the same chart. It is now trading above the 76.4% Fib retracement level of the recent correction from $9,403 to $8,826.

An immediate resistance is near the last swing high at $9,400, above which the price could accelerate towards the $9,500 and $9,550 levels.

The main resistance above $9,500 is near the $9,750 level. The 1.618 Fib extension level of the recent correction from $9,403 to $8,826 is near the $9,750 level. Above $9,750, the bulls are likely to target the key $10K level.

On the downside, an initial support for bitcoin price is near the $9,200 level. If there is a fresh downside correction, BTC to USD might retest the $9,000 pivot level. If there are more losses, the downside extension could lead the price towards the $8,800 or $8,750 level. Overall, BTC price is likely to accelerate towards $9,750 or $10K.

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Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum Price Analysis: ETH Approaching Significant Support Area

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Ethereum Price Analysis ETH Chart

There was another rejection noted near $265.00 in Ethereum vs the US Dollar. ETH/USD is currently declining and approaching towards a couple of important supports near $254.00 and $250.00.

Key Takeaways: ETH/USD

  • Ethereum price formed a short term top near the $264.4 level and declined against the US Dollar.
  • ETH/USD is currently approaching the $254.00 support and a bullish trend line on the 2-hours chart (data feed from Bitstamp).
  • Bitcoin price remains in an uptrend and it could accelerate gains above the $8,300 level.

Ethereum Price Analysis

Recently, bitcoin price gained momentum and broke the $8,100 and $8,200 resistance levels. However, Ethereum price failed to gain traction and formed a short term top near the $264.4 level.

Looking at the 2-hours chart, Ethereum price started a downside correction from the $264.41 high and declined below the $260.00 level. There was a break below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last rally from the $236.89 to $264.41.

Ethereum Price Analysis ETH Chart

Besides, there was a break below the $258.00 level, but the price found support near $255.00. Moreover, the price is approaching the $254.00 support and a bullish trend line on the 2-hours chart.

Below the trend line, the main support is near the $250.20 level and the 50 simple moving average (2-hours, purple). The 50% Fib retracement level of the last rally from the $236.89 to $264.41 is also near the $250.65 level to act as a support.

If there is a downside break below the $250.00 support, the price could extend losses and decline towards the $243.50 zone. The 76.4% Fib retracement level of the last rally from the $236.89 to $264.41 is also near $243.40.

Conversely, if the trend line support holds, the price is likely to start a fresh increase in the coming sessions. An initial resistance is near $260.00 and a connecting bearish trend line. A break above the $260.00 barrier might start a strong rally in Ethereum price above the $265.00 level.

Overall, ETH price is trading with a positive bias as long as it is above $250.00, and it could rise again above $260.00 and $265.00.

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