Coinbase shuts down index fund & adds ZRX | Bitfinex suspends deposits | Regulated stablecoins are hitting unregulated exchanges

Bitcoin $6,305                     Ethereum $198.36 
Crypto Mkt Cap $202B               BTC Dominance 54.10%  

“We are, make no mistake … in the middle of an enormous multivariate kind of Ponzi scheme” — Chamath Palihapitiya, CEO Social Capital on the startup economy

The Big Block

Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange operator, is shutting down its index-fund as it shifts attention to a new retail offering, a person familiar with the situation told The Block.

The poster-child of the cryptocurrency market in the U.S., Coinbase in March announced its aspirations to launch a market-value-weighted index fund to offer accredited investors and institutions exposure to the digital currencies trading on its exchange.

A person familiar with the matter said the index fund product failed to attract the necessary number of clients, raising less funds than the firm expected. At the time of launch, however, an executive at the firm told Bloomberg News that the company was “seeing strong demand from institutional and high-net-worth individuals.” The number of index providers has grown in 2018, despite the cryptocurrency market’s shrinking size. Other players in the index market include Bitwise Asset Management, Abra, and Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital. The shutting of the Coinbase fund could be an indication that the appetite for exposure to the crypto market is less than it was earlier this year.

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Around The Block

Decentralization detour: Regulated stablecoins hit unregulated exchanges

Three firms, which arguably played a critical role in popularizing bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for the masses are now launching regulated stablecoins. But unlike bitcoin, whose most important value proposition is arguably censorship resistance, regulated stablecoins released by Circle, Gemini and Paxos are actually quite the opposite. If a user fails to pass know-your-customer requirements or if the stablecoins are simply suspected of being involved in illegal activity, they can be frozen, seized, forfeited or destroyed — by the very governments bitcoin was built to work around. — More

A golden opportunity opened up for traders as the crypto market shed billions

The market for digital currencies shed billions overnight, and that opened up a mouth-watering opportunity for traders.

All major digital assets were trading in the red Thursday morning, per data from OnChainFX. The large selloff, which began Wednesday night, brought the crypto market down more than $15 billion.

Amidst the chaos, however, a golden-opportunity opened up for traders looking to make a quick buck, as per data from CoinRoutes. Per the data-provider, spreads widened on the way down. At one point, the price difference between the best bid on Kraken and the best ask on Gemini was around $100. High spreads allow a trader to make a so-called arbitrage trade, which is when a trader buys up a given asset on one marketplace to sell it for a higher price on another. — More

Coinbase adds decentralized exchange protocol 0x (ZRX) — More

Bitfinex suspends all fiat deposits — More

Paxos and TrueUSD trades at a premium against Tether — More

People’s Bank of China hiring to build central bank crypto — More

CipherTrace: 97% of criminal bitcoins are sent to unregulated exchanges — More

Major cryptocurrencies crash along with global stock markets — More