At press time, the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap and the number one competitor to bitcoin is trading for roughly $282. That’s about eight dollars higher than where it stood yesterday afternoon.
The jump likely stems from CBOE, the largest futures and options exchange stationed in the United States. The company explains that it plans to issue Ethereum futures by the end of the year, and that all that remains is basic clarification from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC).
Hoping to expedite the process, CBOE is basing its futures platform on one offered by the Gemini Exchange in New York, headed by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Representatives state that the maneuver has been difficult to initiate over the years given Ethereum’s unclear history and regulatory patterns, though now that the entity has been labeled a non-security, things will be easier to push forward.
CBOE’s president Chris Concannon recently commented that the company had no intention of simply stopping at bitcoin, and that the goal was to always offer futures based on other digital assets ranging from Ethereum to bitcoin cash. This differs greatly from the goals of competitor CME Group, which states it only plans to offer bitcoin-based futures for the time being.
In a surprising story, Joseph Lubin – Ethereum’s co-creator – is defending Tether against accusations that the currency was used to potentially manipulate bitcoin’s price. In a recent interview, Lubin explains:
“Tether’s an interesting project. Based on our analysis, which involves just talking to a bunch of people in the space, we do believe that tethers are backed one-to-one by U.S. dollars in bank accounts. With respect to market manipulations, I’m not sure that market manipulations are related to Tether directly if they do exist.”
The argument against Tether began just a few months ago when finance professor John Griffin of the University of Texas released a report with data suggesting that Tether was purchased repeatedly during the bitcoin boom of 2017. Whenever the bitcoin price fell or dropped slightly, Tether was used to purchase BTC in various amounts, thereby pushing the price further up the financial ladder. The SEC is now looking into these alleged claims of reported manipulation.
Lubin appears to be casting doubt on whether fraud and price manipulations can occur to such an extent. However, he did mention that if such manipulation existed in some way, it would likely occur due to trading platforms and the lack of regulation they enjoy when compared to traditional monetary institutions.
“Ideally, we’ll get a little better regulation of those centralized exchanges, at least, and we’ll see less sloshing around in price,” he claims.