How Cryptocurrencies Will Change the World

 

Digital Currencies are Changing the World of Finance

Cryptocurrencies have been making waves ever since they were introduced to members of the online trading community. Digital currencies aren’t just a promise; they are currently being applied to various uses. Along with blockchain technology, they continue to take businesses to areas that were previously untapped. Nowadays, it’s hard to go a single day without the mention of cryptocurrency in the news. Goes to tell just how far they have come in a very short while.

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrency refers to electronic money that is used in online transactions. This money is stored in electronic wallets or computer files. Some common cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, etc. The blockchain technology is used in transferring and monitoring cryptocurrency transactions.

How Will Cryptocurrencies Change the World?

Much has been said about how cryptocurrency will revolutionize future payments, services, businesses, and by so doing, change the world. Some of these much talked about changes include:

  • Strengthen e-commerce: It appears that more and more people now shop online most of the time. Cryptocurrency gives individuals even more reasons to become used to the convenience of online shopping, as it mitigates the risk of fraud for both vendors, sellers, and shoppers and eases consumer concerns regarding the safety of their personal information. It is also expected that cryptocurrency will facilitate online shopping more efficiently than fiat currency since it does not have to observe international rules or comply with trade restrictions.
  • Ease cross-border transactions: Cryptocurrencies keep challenging conventional monetary systems in many regards. One of these areas is money transfers. Digital currencies such as bitcoin are as much of freely convertible money as there can be. More so, their fast execution times and meager transaction cost makes them the ideal resources for cross-border money transfer. It is no wonder currencies like Ripple are taking over with cross-border transactions.
  • Help increase global remittances: Older money transfer firms like MoneyGram and Western Union are not cost-effective. Typically, foreigners are charged a high percentage as commission when they send money to their home country. Asides the high commissions, funds transfers made through money transfer operators like Western Union are not processed on time. Cryptocurrency transfers, on the other hand, are highly cost-effective and occur in real time. Such advantages are expected to enable digital currencies to drive growth in foreign remittances. The fact that users could also process transfers directly from their mobile devices from any location will also help encourage participation.
  • Faster transfers: As already mentioned, cryptocurrency transactions are processed instantly. This means that market participants need not wait for days or weeks for transfers to be confirmed.
  • Beyond these, cryptocurrencies may also help bring stability to unstable fiat currencies, phase out the currency exchange system, give people more control over their own funds, and provide scalability, among others.

 

The Push is on for Cryptocurrencies

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Millennials See Banks Differently from Other Generations

Millennials Are the Fastest Growing Customer Base.

Millennials are the fastest growing customer base. Their number, education, and exposure make them a target for businesses who are looking to woo clients. The story is no different in the banking industry where financial institutions consider them an asset that must be had.

Think about it; it has been predicted that millennials will represent about 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, per Bankingly.com. Millennials also make up a more significant portion of the labor market. They may not be as wealthy as the boomers, but more workforce means more money at their disposal to contribute towards bank deposits. The millennials have it all, it seems. So it makes sense that they are a target for anyone who is looking to generate customers.

However, this generation tends to have different expectations from boomers when it comes to the financial services sector.

Understanding their Reasons and Preferences

It is no secret that consumer taste changes with each passing generation. For millennials, this means a preference for online banking over more traditional financial institutions. After all, they are a generation who practically live on their smartphones. Millennials are tech-savvy and consider their phones the new wallet because they expect digital convenience in all aspects of their lives.

The Bankingly report claims that 71% of millennials would rather go to the dentist than go to the bank. Also, around 33% of millennials are of the opinion that they do not need a bank. A further 53 percent of them believe that their banks offer the same products as any other.

This makes millennials more open to switching banks since they don’t see any differences between these financial institutions. Instead of sticking with brick-and-mortar banks, millennials prefer mobile banking. Baby boomers, on the other hand, prefer to stick with older banks due to concerns over the safety of their financial data. Such diverging attitudes create a huge problem for financial institutions.

With the boomers retiring, millennials are expected to fuel future growth for the banking industry through loans, mortgages, retirement accounts, etc. Nonetheless, it appears that banking needs of millennials are influenced by their lifestyles. And this creates uncertainty regarding what the future holds for older banks.

Two Main Reasons Millennials

  • The global financial crisis: The global financial crisis has made millennials skeptical of banks. The 2007 global financial crisis made it hard for older millennials who came of age at that time to secure jobs and pay off student loans. Also, they are educated enough to know that the global financial crisis was due to the greed and fraud that pervaded the banking industry at the time.
  • Millennials expect digital convenience: As mentioned earlier, millennials demand digital services because they seek convenience. The American Bankers Association reports that millennials are three times more likely to open a new account with their phone than in person. This causes them to lean more towards banks that offer digital services than the more traditional ones.
  • Millenials Are Distrustful of the Traditional Banking System World Wide. They Expect The Digital Convenience , Faster Service From Mobile Apps and Tablets For Their Banking Needs

 

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Financial Technology in Colleges Today, What Students Think

 

Advances in Automation and Technology

Advances in computing, automation, and communication have shifted focus from traditional methods to the use of technology in payments, clearing, trading, and regulatory compliance. This has led to Financial technology (often referred to as Fintech) programs taking center stage in colleges as schools attempt to play an integral part in the fintech revolution by training students for jobs in today’s fast-growing financial technology industry.

These courses are designed to enable students to advance their knowledge in critical aspects of technology such as machine learning, data analytics, and blockchain technology, among others. FinTech programs aim to improve college financial literacy by making it possible for students to gain an understanding of various technologies and obtain practical experience working with them.

What is Financial Technology?

Financial Technology essentially refers to any technological invention in financial services. Individuals who are involved in Financial Technology typically develop new technologies to disrupt traditional financial markets.

These include several innovations that facilitate online transactions, such as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, mobile banking applications like Venmo, and online payment solutions such as PayPal and Skrill.

Fintech also comprises tech-based financial services such as crowdfunding systems, automated financial planning, peer-to-peer lending marketplaces, as well as robo wealth managers such as Betterment.

Students Clamor

The use of digital technology is fast becoming the norm, leading to a revolution that is rapidly transforming the financial industry. This has led to calls by students for financial technology courses to be introduced in colleges. This, they believe, will enable them to understand the complexity of the payment infrastructure and be acquainted with critical payment instruments and how they function, among others.

A good example of students’ interest in innovation can be seen in the case of New York University (NYU) where the fintech undergraduate course attracted enrollment from twice as many students as expected.

Students demand, coupled with the far-reaching disruption in the financial industry has the schools themselves making conscientious efforts to teach students how to master financial technology.

Institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Columbia University’s business school, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, etc. have all adopted fintech programs in their curriculum.

Fintech in Colleges: Effectiveness and Challenges

So far, fintech courses have proven to be highly effective as colleges scramble to bring together leading academics to educate students on the impact of technology on business, finance, and society. Various innovative research has been conducted and new courses introduced, all in a bid to develop the next generation of fintech experts and re-educate students in new financial technologies.

In spite of the opportunities, however, schools and students face challenges in their attempt to venture into this new area of research. Students who are interested in specializing in fintech may be limited by the lack of textbooks and other teaching materials on the subject. Similarly, most professors have limited knowledge of fintech.

Nonetheless, scholars hope to construct school curriculum and develop real-life cases that will enable students to become knowledgeable enough to make inventions of their own. For now, it looks like fintech finally has its place in academia, which makes for exciting times ahead.

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How the Blockchain Could Disrupt the Music Industry

The Passion For Good Music

The passion for good music and accurate reproduction has led industry leaders to work together for years in the design and production of innovative acoustic solutions. In their pursuit of the joys of producing great music, however, content creators faced one problem: they weren’t receiving commensurate pay for their efforts.

With the coming of the blockchain, it appears all of that is about to change for the better. Blockchain, the technology that runs cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, could create disruptions in media-content distribution, allowing creators to receive payments for their work.

How Will the Blockchain Ensure Transparency Around Royalty Payments?

In theory, streaming services like iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify pay artists a certain sum per play. The amount artists receive for their work is determined by a very complicated formula which measures the amount of revenue accruable to each rights holder (such as music labels, musicians, producers, etc.) based on their contribution to the development of the content.

Metadata, which helps to organize, find, and understand the music data, holds information regarding the rights holders to any musical piece. But while it does a fantastic job of holding data, the data can be altered, which may result in an artist not getting paid for their work.

The blockchain could potentially solve this extraordinarily complex and contentious revenue-sharing issue by replacing the old formula with a new procedure that ensures transparency when distributing income. Thanks to the blockchain, music enthusiasts could choose to pay for a song using digital currency such as bitcoin or a smart contract platform like ethereum.

Payments made using the ether currency, the ethereum token, are split automatically among rights holders. This is because the smart contract element of the blockchain makes it possible to determine what percentage of the proceeds goes to which collaborator. By putting content on the blockchain and entering all rights holders to that specific content, content creators make it possible for anyone to view the database.

Benefits of Blockchain for Music Fans and Artists

Asides helping to ensure transparency around royalty payments and rights management, the blockchain technology is beneficial for both fans and artists in some ways. For music lovers, it could generate benefits such as lower prices for content. On their part, music creators could see their revenues increase significantly, thanks to the technology.

The blockchain also helps make copyrights easier to impose, as people around the world could view copyright data on the ledger. Also, it helps provide evidence of ownership of music. The blockchain’s consensus mechanism, which allows users to preserve a digitally shared truth, enables content producers to distribute their work directly to end users. By so doing, it eliminates the long chain of intermediaries, which in turn reduces content cost and improve the speed with which content is delivered.

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6 Tips for Business Success

Marketing is an Investment

  • In order for your business venture to thrive, people need to know about it. Marketing is an essential component of business success. If you do not put in the time and resources that are required for marketing, it will be difficult for you to sustain a business.
  • Online resources are available for everyone to cost effectively market their businesses. Although there are numerous opportunities to market your business for free online, you still need to consider investing money through other affordable options to accommodate your growing business needs.
  • With gradual business growth, you will have access to more funding that you can use to market your business effectively. Businesses that are successful invest significantly in marketing.

Create a Marketing Plan

  • Business and marketing plans are equally important. Your business cannot go far without consumers who buy your products or use your services.
  • When you market your business effectively you attract more prospects and customers. This enables you to make sales and profits that are necessary for you to cover your costs. Marketing plans require research and compel you to come up with business strategies that are aimed at growth and development.
  • Your marketing plan is a vital reference point that you can use to guide your marketing efforts. There should always be some time set aside each day for marketing.

Market Consistently

The business word is competitive and staying ahead involves constantly spreading awareness about the products and services you offer. Business owners who make an effort to market consistently are able to generate new opportunities and gain prospective customers.

Create a Niche

A niche market will enable you to focus and prevent you from doing too many things at the same time. The advantage of focusing on a single niche is that it allows you to use your skills accordingly and work more efficiently.

As time goes on, you can include additional activities when you are ready to take on more challenges. Creating a niche for your business is a good way to achieve sustainability and stand out from the rest of the competition.

Networking

Be ready to work hard and prepare for the responsibility of being your boss. Having your own business is a rewarding experience but you it requires dedication and discipline. Whenever you start a business, it is important to network. Networking helps to promote sales and keep you on track.

Effective networking involves being responsive, reaching out to people in the industry, attending networking events and being accessible.

Maintain Contact with your Customers

Remaining in contact with your customers is essential for retaining customer loyalty. Keeping in touch with customers shows that they are valued. Keep records of their contact details so that you can inform them about new products or promotional offers. The customers that you already have are just as important as the new ones that you want to attract. Read more about debt review here.

All entrepreneurs want to be successful and watch their business concepts turn into reality. Operating a business requires time and effort as well as determination. There are various things that you can do to reach your goals and keep your business running. Check this chart below.

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Is the Effect of Political Risk Becoming Overrated on Wall Street

Traditionally, political uncertainty is one of the biggest market movers with effects on the equities, Forex, and commodities market. Political commentators and Wall Street analysts have drawn up interesting inferences on the effects of political uncertainty on the markets after significant political events such as elections and referendums. For instance, the prevailing thesis on the effects of political uncertainty on the market is that Americans tend to vote for the same candidate or party if the economy is robust and they tend to vote for the opposition if the economy is weak.

Sam Stovall, managing director at S&P Capital IQ observes that the results of presidential elections shows that voters tend to give the state of the economy a high weighting in choosing the next president. In his words, “In 82 percent of the times that markets have climbed during August and October, the incumbent party has won. In 86 percent of the times the market has been down, the replacement party has won.”

It is already cliché that the markets hate uncertainty and you can trust Wall Street to have a bullish performance in years when the election results are predictable than in years when the election can swing either way. The market doesn’t usually record much volatility ahead of election in which the incumbent is contesting reelection because the incumbent will most likely win and there won’t be much of a change in economic policies.

However, in the last U.S. presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the risks of change in economic and foreign policy was high because both candidates had widely different plans. Trump was easily the wild card because his proposed economic and foreign policy plans were ‘unconventional’ and Wall Street analysts were quick to opine that a Trump presidency will bring in a unprecedented level of uncertainty to the markets.

The effect of unexpected political events is muted on the markets

However, the chart above shows how U.S. equities and the volatility index have fared since Trump won the election. You’ll observe that U.S. stocks have booked gains since Trump won the election on Nov. 8 2016. The S&P 500 is up 10.70%, the NASDAQ Composite is up 12.33%, the Dow Jones Industrials is up 14.14%, and the Russell 2000 (small caps) is up an incredible 15.04%. Conversely, the fear gauge in the market has recorded a massive drop with the VIX index declining by 38.9% in the same period.

Steve Williamson, an analyst at Lionexo binary options observes that “the performance stocks in relation to the volatility index shows that U.S. equities have not been plagued by the expected volatility that should have resulted in a change in government.” In essence, it appears that political risk is starting to have a lesser effect on the markets.

Interestingly, 2016 showed many signs indicating that political uncertainty has lesser influence on the markets. For instance, the markets recovered from the shocking Brexit vote in four days despite the fears that the Britain’s exits from the EU might trigger chaos in the Eurozone. The whiplash in U.S. stocks after Trump’s surprise victory didn’t last more than four hours. Italians rejected proposed constitutional changes from Matteo Renzi’s pro-EU government and the effect of the referendum was lost on the Italian market in about four minutes.

Pro-EU market watchers have started drawing inferences on how the results of the upcoming French elections could affect forex markets in the EU, U.S., and the rest of the world. One of the top candidates in the French presidential election, Marine Le Pen has indicated that she’ll drop the use Euro in France – a move that might be the prequel to France’s exit from the EU.

It still a little too early to know if the results of the French elections will have a drastic effect on the market or not. However, based on the recent performance of the markets, we can safely bet that the markets will see a swift correction that will erase any volatility irrespective of how the French vote in the next election.

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Bitcoin, Ethereum Gain Despite Crypto Market Slump

The Current Crypto Market

It’s been a mixed second week for the crypto market ever since news broke that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is conducting a probe into the activities of several cryptocurrency exchanges. The action, which was necessitated by the launch of Bitcoin (BTC) futures by CME Group in late 2017, aims to look into the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and itBit after it emerged that manipulative trading could have distorted the value of Bitcoin futures.
The move is seen as a way for the regulators to tighten control over trading schemes that can be used to manipulate the price of Bitcoin futures, which is under government’s control. Days after the announcement was made, all of the top 100 digital currencies by market capitalization fell, with the total cryptocurrency market capitalization falling by as much as $20 billion on June 10, per

Coinmarketcap.

Bitcoin lost around 5 percent of its value on the day after it traded at $7,244. On its part, Ethereum lost about 6 percent of its value, trading at around $568. Other losers included EOS and IOTA (MIOTA). The downward trajectory continued as Bitcoin traded below the $6,500 mark as the value of Ethereum dipped below $500 over the course of one week. However, it now appears that some cryptocurrencies are back in green, leaving the rest swimming in a sea of red.

Bitcoin and Ethereum Lead Recovery

Despite the losses suffered, it appears that a recovery could be coming after four out of the top ten digital currencies saw slight gains on June 17. Also, the market capitalization of all coins has since increased to $280 billion from a midweek low of around $264 billion.
Bitcoin gained slightly after it traded at an average of $6,505. Similarly, Ethereum recorded an increase of about 0.35% as it traded at around the $500 price mark. If you are willing to look past the top ten coins though, you will be impressed the most by the performances of the Binance Coin (BNB) and VeChain (VEN), which recorded 8.4 percent (now trading at $17.15) and 6 percent (currently trading at $3.11) gains respectively.

Cryptocurrency Market Keeps Sliding for the Rest

While the continued rally of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum signal that a recovery may not be far off, crypto enthusiasts still have a cause to worry as other major coins show no signs of improvement. Deep down the bottom is IOTA (MIOTA), which lost around 2.16 percent of its value and now trades at $1.18.
EOS supporters who are hoping for a revival also have some waiting to do, as the currency lost around 1.3 percent of its value over the past 24 hours, trading at about $10.58.

 

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7 Essential Steps to Get the Best Interest Loans Out Of Personal Loans

Everybody faces a personal financial crisis at least once in his or her lives. Your next payday may be miles away considering your emergency and this may force you to find a good solution for yourself. Borrowing from family is a no go zone and the first resort is to find a personal lender to sort you out. Personal online loans are easier and quickly given compared to other types of loans.

In this article, I am going to highlight to you 7 steps you should follow in order to find personal loans with the best interest loans out there.

  1. Consider The Purpose Of Your Loan

Knowing exactly what the loan is meant for is a good start. Emergency loans are offered on basis of trust and the relationship you have with the lender will determine a lot. Many personal loan lenders nowadays prefer to be provided a reason for the loan application. Therefore, you need to provide a good reason why you should be granted an online loan. Good reasons for a personal loan include medical expenses and other emergency occurrences.

  1. Do Your Research

This can come as easy as going online and searching for good personal lenders for you. You should always opt for lenders who have lesser interest rates. Lower interest rates are what you are searching for after all. Make a list of potential lenders you find and evaluate each. However, you should avoid lenders with abnormally low interest rates since their legibility is questionable.

  1. Borrow From Your Bank

You should take a personal loan from an institute that you already have an account with as they already have a good relationship with you and they will offer you better options, which include friendly interest rates.

  1. Check Your Credit History

Your credit history provides lenders with an image of how you have related with previous lenders. Bad credit history will make personal loan lenders to give you fewer options with exorbitant interest rates so be sure to check on your credit history and make corrections.

  1. Chose A Shorter Loan Repayment Period

While applying for a personal loan, you are advised to go for options that offer shorter repayment periods since they have lower interest rates. However, you should choose a repayment plan that suits your income since you do not want to stretch your income. You should before making an early repayment since some lenders do have a penalty for this.

  1. Pay Your Loan On Time

Paying your loan on time will prevent you from being charged higher interest rates on your balance and also making sure, you maintain a good credit score.

  1. Borrow The Exact Amount Needed

This may not be a factor, that lies with the lender but it ensures that you are not charged interest on additional amounts you did not need. If your medical expense costs $2,000, it is always advisable to borrow no more than that amount.

 

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Vestle Broker Review – Wall Street

Vestle is the European trading arm of ICFD limited which was formerly known as IFOREX, one of the largest and well-known forex brokers in the industry. The company is licensed to trade forex and CFDs by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission under license # 143/11. The company offers several different trading platforms including a web browser and a mobile app. The physical office I slocated at the corner of Agiou Andreou & Venizelou Streets, Vashiotos Agiou Andreou Building, Second Floor, P.O.B 54216, Limassol, Cyprus.

Vestle offers several ways to contact the company including an email address for technical support, trading support and customer support. They list several phone numbers where you can touch base with support as well as inquire regarding general information. The company lists their telephone number in 10-different European countries. All of their legal documentation is listed on their website and conveniently located in one area.

Products

Vestle offers a wide variety of trading tools with a focus on contracts for differences. The CFDs offered include several commodities, indices, currencies as well as shares. When you trade a CFD, you are only responsible for the change in the price of the security. You don’t actually have to purchase or sell the security. In addition, Vestle offers several Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). These are trading products that capture sectors of the markets. For example, if you wanted to speculate on the direction of the energy sector, you could purchase or sell the XLE ETF.

News and Information

Vestle offers its clients an economic calendar that provides forecasts of key economic events. Economic data is listed for a range of dates, along with a forecast which describes the average estimate for economists following that event. Additionally, Vestle lists the actual press release along with the previous releases. This will allow traders to compare and see if the actual press release was better than or worse than expectations. This information helps drive the prices of many CFDs.

Trading Platforms

Unlike MT4, the Vestle trading platforms are customized. Their browser version, FXnet, is a web-based platform that was developed and adapted based on more than 20-years of experience in building forex platforms. The FXnet meets the requirements of all levels of traders by displaying multiple tools and features and are extremely easy to use. Vestle also provides clients with a mobile platform for traders that are on the go. The mobile platform allows customers to quickly place trades and constantly monitor positions. You will have access to your wallet, positions, equity and margin details. You can easily download the Vestle mobile application from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Getting Started

Vestle makes the process of getting started relatively simple. They request that you describe what kind of trader you are, which falls into one of three categories. Are you a specialized trader, a diversified portfolio trader or an all in one trader? They also offer one on one training which makes the process of getting up to speed easier.

Summary

Vestle is the European trading arm of one of the most respected forex names in the business. iFOREX has more than 20-years of trading experience and they are delivering a customized platform to traders across Europe. Their web-based platform and mobile app, appeals to traders on the go, and will allow you to monitor your risk and balance if you need to leave your office.

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Wall Street Expected to Dominate Cryptocurrency Trading in Future

A New Era for Wall Street

Cryptocurrency continues to gain mainstream acceptance as many investors look to go digital. Interest among Wall Street power brokers appears to be gaining momentum after Goldman Sachs made known its intention to open a bitcoin trading section.

Similarly, the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), is thought to be working on a bitcoin trading platform of its own. The Wall Street Journal revealed that ICE had discussions with some financial companies regarding the project, which is still under development. While ICE is believed to be working on adopting cryptocurrency, there’s still no further information concerning the project yet.

Of these companies, Goldman Sachs seems to be the most serious about getting involved with cryptocurrency. The American multinational investment bank and financial services company is also considering offering a Bitcoin Futures.

If it ends up doing so, the New York-based organization will join the likes of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), which are already providing Bitcoin Futures contracts to their customers as one of the few firms to allow exposure to the price of cryptocurrencies without owning them.

It may seem too soon to talk about the Wall Street allowing investors to invest in cryptocurrency, but the move by the likes Goldman Sachs and Intercontinental Exchange represents a significant shift from a sector that was once very unwelcoming to digital currencies. Indeed, their involvement may yet prove to be a game changer.

Wall Street’s Anticipated Domestication

Newsbtc.com reports that UK’s Barclay’s Plc had revealed its plans to embrace cryptocurrency per clients’ demands. Several other firms within the financial services sector are also said to be pondering similar moves. The Newsbtc piece suggests that investment banks are open to the possibilities of trading cryptocurrency, provided it enables them to meet customers’ needs.

Beyond broking, custody, and everything in-between, Matt Levine, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs maintains that banks must consider it a necessity to trade cryptocurrencies, so long as clients expect to be rendered such services.

The emergence of the Bitcoin futures contracts is believed to have made the market more accessible to money managers. Levine reckons banks may one day domesticate cryptocurrency if clients demand is high enough.

It may take some time before Wall Street finally dominates cryptocurrency trading. However, the perception shifts in the financial services industry suggest that day may not be very far away after all.

More so, the fact that Bitcoin Futures makes it possible for investors to speculate on the currency’s price without actually needing to own it could lead to more widespread adoption shortly.

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