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Tales from the Crypt: What do Augur, Golem and Gnosis have in common?

They’re all cryptocurrencies. Though, if you thought, “They’re all words that could appear in  folklore” you’d also be correct.

In light of LedgerX getting approval from the CFTC to clear options on cryptocurrencies Monday, I thought it prudent to give you a snippet of the larger picture. (More stories regarding LedgerX follow.)

Interest and excitement in the space has accelerated rapidly in 2017 due to a number of developments: bitcoin’s eye popping price action/volatility (~$910 at the start of the year to ~$2570 now), the far-ranging potential applications of distributed ledger technology (in finance and elsewhere), the more flexible scripting language represented by ethereum, the “civil war” around bitcoin’s future, the efficacy of retail coin mining and the rise of initial coin offerings. I’m probably missing a few other important items.

Want some more fun names from the crypto cohort? Ardor, Lisk, Byteball and Ubiq. For more, check out this list. There are coins backed by gold, coins based on memes and coins with different mining protocols. Here are the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap:  

1) Bitcoin                  – $42.1 billion

2) Ethereum            – $19.0 billion

3) Ripple                   – $6.7 billion

4) Litecoin                – $2.1 billion

5) Dash                      – $1.4 billion

6) NEM                      – $1.3 billion

7) Ethereum Classic – $1.3 billion

8) IOTA                      – $692 million

9) Monero                 – $580 million

10) Stratis                 – $471 million

Chances some of the smaller players haven’t crossed your radar. But, each currency listed in this column has a market cap greater than $50 million. There are literally hundreds of these digital assets floating around. While the market caps dwindle rapidly as one scrolls down the list of cryptocurrencies, the top 50 all have more than $50 million.

Anyway, here are sources for Monday’s LedgerX news – pick your poison: Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ, CoinDesk, CNBC and CoinTelegraph.  

Here’s CoinDesk’s 2017 coverage of LedgerX’s progress for context.

And then the December 2016 MIAX press release that put LedgerX on my radar: Miami International Holdings and Ledger Holdings Announce Investment in LedgerX Holding Company.

Plus, there’s this established exchange crypto angle that hit the airwaves in May 2016: CME, ICE prepare pricing data that could boost bitcoin.

Picture painted? Good. This story is just getting started.

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Graduate of University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication