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Bill Clinton Headlined Ripple’s Swell Conference, Here is What the Former President Had to Say


What happened at the conference

Ripple’s Swell Conference kicked off on Monday. The conference started with the announcement that Ripple’s xRapid has gone live and is being used by three firms.

Payment providers Mercury FX and Cuallix, as well as Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union, are xRapid’s three first users and are the first to use XRP for commercial use.

The event, which continues Tuesday, also features some notable guest speakers, including former President of the United States Bill Clinton.

What is Bill Clinton doing at a blockchain event?

Many were perplexed when Bill Clinton was announced as the keynote speaker for Ripple’s Swell Conference. As crypto Twitter does with just about everything, it was made into a meme.

It makes a little more sense when you realize that one of Clinton’s former White House advisors, Gene Sperling, is on Ripple’s board of directors. Sperling accompanied Clinton on stage on Monday.

Clinton who has not been known as a blockchain proponent had some interesting quotes on the subject including:

“The more you develop new technologies like blockchain … AI technologies, robotic technologies … the more the disparity of access is going to be felt.”
“This whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it is applicable across national borders, income groups. The permutations and possibilities are staggeringly great. But we could ruin it all by negative identity politics and economic and social policy.”
“You can’t apply [an] old regulatory regime to a new technology. You end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg.”
Ripple’s surge leading up to Swell

Ripple has been one of the hottest cryptocurrencies over the last month or so. The currency grew 67% over the month of September and has been neck and neck with Ethereum for the number two position by largest market capitalization.

Investors have been anticipating the release of xRapid. In theory, the more entities using the network, the more demand there will be for XRP, creating buy pressure. However, XRP is still well below its 2017 high of $3, but then again, so are all cryptocurrencies.


Institutions are Joining Crypto, But Through the Back Door

Sneaking in the back door

According to Bloomberg, institutional investors are joining the crypto market without drawing much attention. That’s because the institutions aren’t purchasing coins on exchanges, but rather, through private over-the-counter (OTC) transactions.

In April, researchers at Digital Assets Research and TABB Group estimated that the OTC crypto market facilitated anywhere from $250 million to $30 billion in transactions per day. For reference, CoinMarketCap shows that exchanges have recently handled around $15 billion in daily trades.

For crypto startup Circle, the OTC market has shown promising results since the firm has seen “triple-digit growth” in their OTC business and is banking on it to be a “big growth area” in the near future.

A miner’s dream turned reality

The question is: Who is selling massive amounts of crypto to institutional investors in these private OTC transactions?

The answer is miners. According to Bobby Cho, global head of trading at Cumberland, miners are beginning to regularly schedule crypto sales with institutional investors instead of waiting to sell during market rallies.

One big reason institutions demand miner sales is that miners sell newly-minted coins, or rather, coins that have never been involved in money-laundering operations or criminal transactions.

In some cases, these coins can command a premium of up to 20%.

The Wild West days of crypto are fading

While the market in 2018 has taken a nose dive from January highs, crypto market volatility has also declined.

This means the market is becoming more comfortable for institutional investors as the crypto market continues to trade in a tight range and it seems high growth in the OTC market is telling a similar story.