It’s the first time since August 2017 than someone spent coins from early 2009.
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Did Satoshi Nakamoto Just Move 50 Bitcoin?
- 50 Bitcoin that haven’t moved since 2009 were transacted today.
- Some Bitcoin watchers speculate that these coins belong to Satoshi Nakamoto.
- The coins were from Bitcoin mining around a month after the network was created.
BTC from the earliest days of the network moved today. Could Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto be behind the transaction?
Was Satoshi Behind a Recent Bitcoin Transaction?
A 50 BTC transaction representing a block reward from a month after the Bitcoin network launched moved today.
The coins were awarded for mining block 3,654. Several pundits have naturally associated that early mining activity with pseudonymous Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto.
Others Are Unconvinced
The Block’s head of research, Larry Cermak, believes the transaction is unrelated to Satoshi Nakamoto, identifying that there were several early miners on the Bitcoin network.
Blocks believed to have been mined by Satoshi have a particular pattern in their nonces, a cryptographic number that can help identify blocks. According to that pattern, these Bitcoin do not appear to have originated from Satoshi.
Another analyst noted that the transaction marks the first time that early 2009-origin Bitcoin has moved since August of 2017.
Nevertheless, on-chain sleuths will closely watch the path of the coins as the transaction was undoubtedly from an early Bitcoin miner and large holder. If these 50 BTC continue to move, then a lot more about this story will be revealed.
Challenges Await Banks Looking to Expand Into Crypto
In a recent weeks, a widening range of Wall Street titans from Goldman Sachs to the New York Stock Exchange have signaled they are interested in expanding their footprints in the booming cryptocurrency universe in various forms.
While many market observers believe the entry of established Wall Street banks and exchange operators is a positive for the alt-coin space, some analysts believe there are hurdles facing banks looking to expand their presence in the crypto space.
“Centrally cleared cryptocurrency derivatives could be a real-world test of clearinghouses’ margining and default procedures, particularly if derivative notional volumes increase and cryptocurrencies exhibit heightened price volatility,” said Fitch Ratings in a recent note.
Crytpo-related derivatives currently available in the U.S. are mostly confined to Bitcoin futures, which debuted in December on the Cboe and CME. Nasdaq is also considering launching bitcoin futures at some point.
Some big names on Wall Street are embracing digital assets. For example, Goldman Sachs recently made its first cryptocurrency hire and said it plans to use its own capital to trade bitcoin futures for clients. However, Fitch sees challenges for banks looking to venture into digital currency derivatives.
“A dramatic increase in financial institutions’ exposure to cryptocurrency derivatives could challenge clearinghouses and large financial institution clearing members in ways beyond those typically associated with the introduction of new market products,” said the ratings agency. “Cryptocurrencies are prone to extreme price volatility, which has been exacerbated by a nascent, unregulated underlying market with a limited price history and without generally accepted fundamental valuation principles. These factors complicate margin calculations, particularly related to short positions, for which losses cannot be capped.”
Bitcoin futures, which are cash settled, still have light volume relative to other well-known contracts in the futures market.
“As of May 9, 2018, open interests in XBT and BTC were modest at 6,287 and 2,479 contracts, respectively, worth approximately $59 million and $116 million, respectively. However, if challenges associated with trading the cryptocurrency are addressed, including uncertainty over regulatory, tax and legal frameworks, cryptocurrency derivative volumes could grow,” according to Fitch.
Nasdaq Is Open To Becoming Cryptocurrency Exchange ?
Nasdaq Inc., one of the world’s largest operators of equity exchanges, said it would consider launching a cryptocurrency exchange in the future if the regulatory environment is conducive to such a move.
“The view that cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin BTC=BTSP will be a future way to support commerce is becoming more mainstream, Nasdaq’s Chief Executive Officer, Adena Friedman, said in an interview following the announcement of better-than-expected quarterly earnings,” reports Reuters.
Previously, it has been reported that Nasdaq would join Cboe Group and CME in launching bitcoin futures. Cboe and CME did that in December with some market observers speculating Nasdaq could follow suit in the current quarter. Earlier this year, Nasdaq said it would like to introduce bitcoin futures that are different from rivals’ offerings, but did not unveil a timeline for launch.
Waiting On Regulation
At the user level, part of the allure of digital currencies is the decentralized and unregulated nature of the business, but more regulations are required for financial services firms to get involved. Banks and exchange operators like Nasdaq are regulated at the federal level and the current lack of federal regulations pertaining to the cryptocurrency market makes it almost impossible for these companies to crypto trading services to clients.
“But the virtual currencies are still very lightly regulated. That is part of the appeal to many early adopters but would have to change in order for Nasdaq to operate a cryptocurrency exchange, Friedman said,” according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, Nasdaq announced a surveillance partnership with Gemini. Gemini said “that over the coming months we will be implementing Nasdaq’s SMARTS Market Surveillance technology to monitor our marketplace.”
Gemini currently offers trading in biticoin and ethereum, but there has been some speculation the exchange could expand to offer other digital currencies. Currently, Gemini clients can trade the following pairs: BTC/USD, ETH/USD, and ETH/BTC.