Crypto exchange CEO says traders shouldn’t hold their breath for ether futures | A Constantinople postponement postmortem | BitGo announces partnership that puts it up against the largest crypto exchanges

Bitcoin $3,651                    Ethereum $123.41    
Crypto Mkt Cap $122B              BTC Dominance 52.40%  

“When I think about the impact on the underlying technology on any number of businesses – not just supply chains but also how we think about predictive technology – it’s absolutely incredible. And it’s almost limitless. Once you cross into it and realise what the applications of the technology are, there’s no turning back. You’re seduced.” — Christine Sandler, Head of Institutional Sales at Coinbase

The Big Block

A slew of crypto firms have their hearts set on launching markets for ethereum derivatives, but the chance regulators get comfortable with giving the green light for those products this year seem slim, some market experts say. 

“My personal view is that it is 50-50 at best,” Paul Chou, chief executive officer of LedgerX, the crypto options exchange, said in an interview, referring to the odds that an ethereum derivative begins trading in 2019. 

Chou’s firm has an Ethereum option ready to trade, but it is waiting on the CFTC’s blessing. The agency, which oversees trading in commodity and futures markets in the U.S., put out last month a so-called “Request for Input” to solicit information from market participants that could help the regulator better understand ethereum and the risk potential of derivatives markets built around its native token ether. “The RFI seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks,” the RFI said.

Across the market, trading firms are planning to launch futures tied to ether. ErisX and Seed CX both share ambitions to launch their own ethereum derivative product. Cboe Global Markets, the exchange operator behind one of the markets for bitcoin futures in the U.S., also has a future for ether in the works. Still, the timeline for when the agency would approve these product hangs in the balance, experts say. The comment period for the CFTC’s fact-finding mission closes in mid-February. Then, the agency is expected to deliberate on merits of ether futures. 

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Around The Block

A Constantinople postponement postmortem

Core Devs will reconvene on Friday to discuss how to proceed and set a block time for reintroducing the Constantinople upgrade. It is expected that EIP-1283 will be omitted from the fork, although alternative proposals include adding a condition to SSTORE that causes it to revert should less than 2,300 gas remain. Preliminary discussion in the AllCoreDevs Gitter indicated that the delay may be on the order of several weeks: the earliest possible date would likely be Monday January 21 as an upgrade is unlikely to be pushed over a weekend.  — More

On The Block with Christine Sandler: Meet the former NYSE exec who made the leap to Coinbase

When a recruiter approached Christine Sandler in late-2017 about coming out of retirement for an opening at Coinbase, he warned her it was “a little out there.” To be sure, after an extended career in the traditional financial world, which included time at the NYSE and Barclays, switching camps to crypto isn’t a move for the faint-hearted. But Sandler’s decision to become head of sales (US) at Coinbase – the US’s biggest exchange – was not a difficult one, she tells The Block. More

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