CFTC Event Could Bolster ETH Prices on Wednesday

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By Gaurav S. Iyer, IFC Published : February 13, 2018

Ethereum
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Ethereum News Update

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is not the hero investors asked for, but it’s the one they got when Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo testified before the Senate Banking Committee.

Giancarlo struck a bullish tone on cryptocurrencies, saying that regulators should “do no harm” to private sector innovation. He presented himself and his colleague, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, as friends of the cryptocurrency market.

Those comments reversed a market-wide crash in cryptocurrencies. ETH prices have rebounded by 33% since then, bringing the Ethereum to USD exchange rate to $835.00. Now they could receive another tailwind courtesy of the CFTC.

Ethereum Price Chart

eth price chart for 13 feb

The Commission is hosting two panels on Wednesday. Both will feature cryptocurrency experts like Charley Cooper (managing director of R3) and Jerry Brito (executive director of Coin Center) alongside top brass from Washington D.C.

Given the conciliatory tone of the meeting, investors are hoping for a productive outcome.

I think that’s a little optimistic. These events are stage managed by PR professionals—they’re not as substantial as you think. Real decisions aren’t made in committees; they’re made in the halls of power.

Nonetheless, if last week is any gauge, we could see a moderate increase in investor sentiment. Below are some details about the panels in case you’re thinking about tuning in. (Source: “Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) February 14, 2018 Agenda,” Commodity Futures Trading Commission, last accessed February 13, 2018.)

Panel 1: Blockchain and the Potential Application of Distributed Ledger Technology to the Derivatives Markets

Speakers: Jennifer Peve, Executive Director for Business Development and FinTech Strategy, DTCC; Charley Cooper, Managing Director, R3; and Dan Bucsa, Deputy Director, DMO, CFTC.

Topic: This is probably going to become a high-level, abstract discussion about blockchain’s potential impact on the derivatives market.

Panel 2: Market and Regulatory Developments with Virtual Currencies and Related Futures Products

Speakers: Jerry Brito, Executive Director, Coin Center; Gary DeWaal, Special Counsel, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; Richard Gorelick, Chief Executive Officer, RGM Advisors, DRW; and Amir Zaidi, Director, DMO, CFTC.

Topic: This panel might get into the weeds with regards to the crypto futures market. Expect to hear some conversation about how the CFTC plans to regulate these virtual currencies.

Analyst Take

If there’s so much as a whiff of Ethereum futures, we expect a surge in ETH prices. The CFTC is notoriously circumspect on these issues, but who knows what’s possible with the recent shift in tone. We could even gain some more information about a cryptocurrency ETF.

With these possibilities in mind, we strongly reaffirm our $1,500 Ethereum price forecast for the end of Q2.

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