Bitcoin (BTC) is in the news today, having received a strong message of endorsement by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which announced Dec. 12, 2018 as the launch date for BTC futures on its platform Bakkt, according to an ICE document released yesterday.
Bakkt is a platform for trading, storing, and spending digital assets that was established earlier this year by global exchange operator ICE.
“Each futures contract calls for delivery of one bitcoin held in the Bakkt Digital Asset Warehouse and will trade in U.S. dollar terms. One daily contract will be listed for trading each Exchange Business Day,” said Ice in its statement.
Cointelegraph reported that the announcement is backed by a previous statement in September that the company’s “first contracts will be physically delivered BTC futures contracts versus fiat currencies” against U.S. dollars, pounds sterling, and euro.
In December of last year, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the Chicago Board Operations Exchange (CBOE) also launched Bitcoin futures.
Litecoin, Bitcoin’s little brother, is making news of its own
Transaction costs down
Litecoin is set to update the Litecoin Protocol to version 0.17, the team announced via Twitter, and this will see the network’s fees dramatically reduced, down to half a cent, as reported by Investinblockchain.com
“The improvement is the team’s response to the increasing transaction costs since the Litecoin token (LTC) has risen in value. Currently, the average transaction fee hovers around $0.05,” said Investinblockchain.com.
“The change would bring the price down to $0.005, a significant reduction that puts fees at the same levels as 2015. Contrast that to Bitcoin’s current transaction fee, which hovers around $0.10, and Litecoin becomes a much more viable alternative,” the industry site added.
Litecoin Core Lead Developer Adrian Gallagher said:
“To encourage more adoption and usage of Litecoin, I think lowering the fees are a good thing. We’re not even close to block limits and the block size on disk is pretty small (20GB) relative to other coins. I also don’t think it will be too much longer before this bear market is over (3–6 months) so it will lay down the foundation for a fee rate which we can grow into proactively rather than re-actively.”
Planned features include confidential transactions and Lightning Network integration.
“Both features should drive adoption of the cryptocurrency, which would prime Litecoin for what many say is going to be the bull market of 2019,” said Investinblockchain.com.
Litecoin describes itself as: A peer-to-peer Internet currency that enables instant, near-zero cost payments to anyone in the world. Litecoin is an open source, global payment network that is fully decentralized without any central authorities.
Litecoin has quickly risen from obscurity to become one of the world’s most popular and valuable cryptocurrencies. It ranks as one of the top 5 most valuable cryptocurrencies in the world by market cap, behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin Cash.
Litecoin price is struggling to move past the $53.5 resistance against the US Dollar.
Last week, the Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of Facebook fame backed Gemini exchange added Litecoin after approval from authorities.
The exchange will start offering the following currency pairs:
Forbes said the Gemini exchange listing could provide tailwinds for the price of litecoin, which has benefited in the past from being listed on major exchanges like Coinbase.
The digital currency previously climbed 10% in a day following rumors that Coinbase would add the altcoin to its GDAX exchange, according to CoinDesk.
AMB Crypto, an industry site, said Marks Jewelers, one of the biggest jewelry retailers in the US, recently announced that they would be adding multiple cryptocurrencies as payment methods, including Litecoin.