Cryptocurrency Hedge Funds Were Down 12% to 19% in May 2018

Cryptocurrency Hedge Funds Were Down 12% to 19% in May 2018

No need to beat yourself up if your cryptocurrency portfolio exhibited less than stellar performance in May. Even the professional traders employed by the big hedge funds active in the space have suffered double digit declines during the previous month. 

Also Read: Bitcoin in Brief Monday: From New York to Historic Istanbul Market

Crypto Hedge Funds Show Weak Performance in May

Data provided by three different industry trackers reveals that crypto hedge funds achieved considerable negative growth in the bear market of May 2018.

The Eurekahedge Crypto-Currency Hedge Fund Index estimates the losses made by crypto funds to have been 11.66% during May, and 2018’s year to date (YTD) performance to be -22.71%. Market analysis firm, Hedge Fund Research Inc. (HFR), estimates crypto funds to have suffered a decline of 15.48% during May, bringing the YTD performance to -33.3% per the company’s HFR Blockchain Index. And the Cryptocurrency Traders Index of hedge fund data specialist Barclay Hedge shows that the performance of those it is tracking dropped by 19.09% in May, and down 34.57% YTD. The differences between the three benchmarks are due to each following a different number of funds.

The weak May figures are in sharp contrast to the strong rebound performance seen the previous month, as Eurekahedge reported an increase of in 52.83% and Barclay Hedge a similar 44.86% in April 2018.

Cryptocurrency Hedge Funds Were Down 12% to 19% in May 2018
Barclay Cryptocurrency Traders Index May 2018

Reasons to Remain Positive in the Long Term

Despite the setbacks in May and high volatility from month to month analysts believe there are reasons to remain optimistic such as the recent SEC statement and new institutional money coming in. “I expect the crypto markets to remain volatile for the foreseeable future,” said Henri Arslanian, cryptocurrency lead for Asia at PwC. “Whilst retail investors may see volatility in the crypto markets as a downside, many crypto funds see it as an opportunity.” He added that the “long term positive impact of the number of institutional players entering” is more important than short-term price changes.

And interest among Asian investors is surging, according to Josh Gu, director of quantitative research at the HFR index division. “Cryptocurrencies have been very volatile, the topic is still hot in China and Japan.” He explained to the FT that cryptocurrencies appealed to individual investors with a large risk appetite. “However, the [Chinese] regulator has banned some of the crypto trading platforms because of risk, so some investors might have panicked.”

Cryptocurrency Hedge Funds Were Down 12% to 19% in May 2018

Is such a performance justifies paying for portfolio management? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Bitcoin Price Will Hit $60,000 This Year: Fund Manager

Phillip Nunn, chief executive officer of Manchester-based investment firm Blackmore Group, is standing by his bullish prediction that the bitcoin price will reach $60,000 in 2018, according to BusinessCloud. Nunn, who also advises initial coin offering (ICO) projects, told the news outlet he believes the flagship cryptocurrency see both $6,000 and $60,000 this year. Speaking … Continued

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Blockchain-Based Community Currencies to Be Launched in Kenya

Blockchain-Based Community Currencies to Be Launched in Kenya

Bancor has announced today it will launch a network of blockchain-based community currencies in Kenya. The new project is expected to combat poverty through the stimulation of local and regional commerce and peer-to-peer collaboration.

By using the Bancor Network, disadvantaged communities in Kenya will be able to create digital currencies that can hold one or more balances in a connected way such that integrated currencies can be swapped for one another without needing a counterparty.

Bancor will launch the new currencies by contributing capital from the proceeds of its $153 million token sales in 2017.

In correspondence with Bitcoin Magazine, Galia Benartzi, Bancor’s co-founder, said, “Bancor will serve as one of several donors in the program providing initial capital to fund the token balances contained within each of the community currencies. In addition, Bancor will provide in-kind operational support, including technical and integrations work, marketing and hardware to get the currencies distributed and operational.”

The company will partner with Kenyan nonprofit foundation Grassroots Economics, who has experience developing community currency programs in Africa.

Grassroots Economics founder Will Ruddick, who is also the newly appointed director of community currencies at Bancor, will oversee the launch of the community currencies from Nairobi. The team will use Bancor Protocol to expand the current paper currency system used by local businesses to reduce poverty and create stable markets.

Ruddick believes that when “communities have the same right as nations to create and manage currencies, they will unlock their full potential.”

Kawangware and Kibera are the focal points for the pilot launch. These communities, which happen to be the largest slums in Kenya, will be used to circulate the currency by incentivizing customers to use it.

Bancor expects that as more people in the community buy and hold the local currency, its market cap can increase, which will create more wealth and a higher purchasing power for the holders.

Community members and supporters of the initiative will have the option to buy and sell the local currencies via the open-source Bancor Protocol using any of the popular cryptocurrencies or a major credit card.

Before its partnership with Grassroots Economics, Bancor had launched a similar program in Israel. The pilot program, aimed at mothers, was processing over 1,000 daily transactions before activities peaked due to the difficulty of transferring wealth outside of the community.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

JPMorgan Fined $65 Million for Manipulating US Dollar Benchmark

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Monday slapped JPMorgan Chase Bank with a $65 million fine for attempting to manipulate the value of a US Dollar benchmark index. JPMorgan Busted for Trying to Manipulated USD Benchmark According to the CFTC, JPMorgan traders repeatedly attempted to manipulate the US Dollar International Swaps and Derivatives Association

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Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense

The company Square announced on Monday the firm has been granted the Bitlicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS). The firm and its ‘Cash App’ are now legally allowed to operate and utilize cryptocurrency solutions in the state of New York.

Also Read: Cryptocurrency Brokerage Service Genesis Global Granted Bitlicense

Square Has Obtained the New York Bitlicense

 Financial Services Provider Square Acquires New York Bitlicense
The Square Cash App was offered to most U.S. states this past February and now the company can operate in the state of New York. Users can purchase and sell Bitcoin Core (BTC) from within the app.

Square, Inc. is a payment processor and financial services provider that was launched in 2010. The San Francisco based company was founded by Jack Dorsey (also the CEO of Twitter) and Jim McKelvey back in 2010 and the firm has been staunch bitcoin supporters for quite some time. Back in November 2017, the company announced it was implementing in-app BTC buy/sell Options for certain select customers. A few months later in February of 2018 Square rolled out the BTC service for all users. Since then the revenue derived from the cryptocurrency in-app services has added around $8Bn USD to Square’s overall valuation according to data collected last May. Now this week, Square has been granted the official Bitlicense money-transmitter approval from the DFS.

“DFS is pleased to approve Square’s application and welcomes them to New York’s expanding and well-regulated virtual currency market,” explained the Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo during the announcement on Monday.

DFS continues to work in support of a vibrant and competitive virtual currency market that connects and empowers New Yorkers in a global marketplace while ensuring strong state-regulatory oversight is in place.

Square Joins Eight Licensed Cryptocurrency Operations in New York

According to the DFS, the regulators have conducted a review over Square’s business model which includes anti-money laundering guidelines, Know-Your-Customer (KYC), and cybersecurity policies. Moreover, the DFS states the newly licensed Square will be under supervision. The New York regulatory agency has granted the Bitlicense to Circle, Gemini, Coinbase, XRP II, Paxos (formally Itbit), Bitflyer, Xapo, and more recently Genesis Global Trading Inc.

“We are thrilled to now provide New Yorkers with Cash App’s quick and simple way to buy and sell bitcoin,” said Brian Grassadonia, Head of Square’s Cash App service.

Square and the New York State DFS share a vision of empowering people with greater access to the financial system and today’s news is an important step in realizing that goal.

Now New York residents will be able to utilize the Cash App in the state as the region was one of the few states where the cryptocurrency option wasn’t incorporated until today.

What do you think of Square receiving the New York state Bitlicense? Let us know in the comment section below.

Images via Shutterstock, Square, and Pixabay.

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