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This Is Where People Are Buying Bitcoin All Over the World; Who Wants to Be Bitcoin’s Watchdog? John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s STAC panel on cryptocurrency, moderated by Bcause‘s Sean Ristau, looked to be the best attended. The lack of regulatory certainty is the biggest challenge in crypto, as no one is sure yet whether it is going to be considered a security or cash (SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has said “virtual currencies are unlike any commodity that the CFTC has dealt with in the past, and….pose challenges for the SEC as well.”) Clayton and CFTC Chairman Chris Giancarlo are scheduled to speak with the Senate on the matter next month. The CFTC…

As Stocks Reach New Highs, Investors Abandon Hedges; Bond Market Vol at Multidecade Lows Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Top Options Stories of 2017 Countdown JohnLothianNews.com Listicles are occasionally the butt of jokes – Buzzfeed knows – but what about listideos? With 2017 in the bag, we at JLN thought we’d recap the year in options with a list of the big stories and trends – and there were a number. Below are links to stories referenced in the countdown. Watch the video and read the rest here » Lead Stories As Stocks Reach New Highs, Investors Abandon Hedges Gunjan Banerji – WSJ Big stock-market gains are leading a number of investors to abandon defensive positions…

Two futures exchanges call for post-Brexit Mifid rethink; CME Group and JPX Announce Contract; Systemic risks of clearing John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes JLN Staff Today’s top story, Two big futures exchanges call for post-Brexit rethink on Mifid, reiterates what Jeff Sprecher said in April 2017 as covered by Business Insider, “Not to sugarcoat it, I think it [MiFID II] is the worst piece of legislation I’ve ever seen in the history of my career.” But he’s been blasting it since 2016.~JK Eric Piscini of Deloitte Consulting wrote that advancements in the coming months will make the use of blockchain platforms “easier than ever. And it will happen across the main stacks of Hyperledger, ethereum and Corda, among…

Options Market Is Skeptical About High-Yield Bonds; OCC plans minimum cash contributions to clearing fund; German-Russian man admits to Dortmund team bus bombing Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight The Spread – Week of 1/1/18 JohnLothianNews.com A new year, a new Spread! The Spread is a brief recap of some of the notable activity in the options world. The following are stories referenced in this week’s episode of The Spread: Bloomberg – Five Things We Learned About MiFID II on Its First Day at Work OCC – OCC 2017 Total Cleared Contract Volume Up Four Percent, Third Highest Volume Year Ever The New York Times – When Forecasters Get It Wrong: Always See It Market – SKEW Index Continues To Diverge From VIX Index Northwestern’s Kellogg…

The Pound’s Brexit Test; FX Flash Crashes; Basel Rules Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight Sunday, Sunday, Sunday Spencer Doar – JLN My fantasy football team was bad this year. The Detroit Lions in 2008 bad. I went 0-13. A mathematically inclined friend in the same league ran the numbers – not sure of the specifics, but he used ESPN’s point predictions versus actual performance – and his calculations showed that my abhorrent results were nearly three standard deviations outside the norm. I would not have found this nearly as amusing before I started covering the options space and following earnings seasons. Bottom line, that frees up some of Sunday night. Good…

BTC Futures Coming From Team That Rebounded From Epic Snafu; Big banks not willing to support BTC futures John Lothian Newsletter,Newsletter

First Read Hits & Takes By JLN Staff The @JohnLothian Twitter account received 65,120 original impressions yesterday, which is a record for the last 28 days. My LinkedIn profile searches are up 48% for the week.~JJL Yesterday I attended an event hosted at the Art Institute of Chicago by RBC Global Asset Management about responsible investments. The speaker and panel discussed ESG investing, which I did not know about. ESG stands for Environment, Societal and Governance. Later in the day I was able to apply what I learned during a meeting of the endowment committee of my church, of which…

Inflationary VIX shock potential and other vol catalysts; Bitcoin pushback Newsletter,Options

Observations & Insight North Korea says U.S. threats make war unavoidable as China urges calm Soyoung Kim, Heekyong Yang – Reuters Two American B-1B heavy bombers joined large-scale combat drills over South Korea on Thursday amid warnings from North Korea that the exercises and U.S. threats have made the outbreak of war “an established fact”. /goo.gl/g6LF1Y ****SD: We’ve made it this far in the “year of low volatility.” This North Korea update and the below Palestinian story are two of the first things I see scanning my feeds this morning. The other story I saw? Bitcoin hits $16k. No words……

Cboe Throws Launch Date Punch at Crosstown Rival CME Exchanges, OTC & Clearing,Feature,Fintech,Investing & Trading,JLN Subgroups

Aren’t people supposed be getting into holiday mode? Isn’t December supposed to be slow, with nothing but junior staff running around trying not to mess things up?  In the cryptocurrency space, that’s clearly not the case. The CFTC on Friday said CME Group and Cboe Global Markets were okay to launch their respective bitcoin futures products through the self-certification process. CME quickly announced it would launch bitcoin futures on December 18, and then on Monday morning, Cboe announced a December 10 launch date and free trading for the first month to help the contract gain traction. Cboe’s contract will trade…

Key points from CFTC Commissioner Quintenz’s fintech address Blog,Commentary,Feature,Fintech,Regulation & Enforcement

CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz addressed ISDA’s Unlocking Value in Derivatives Markets conference in London yesterday and a few timely remarks were included (as well as some shout-outs to Galileo and Prometheus…). Regarding the crypto elephant in the room Of all the aspects of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA), Quintenz brought up the provision that exchanges “may not list a contract that is readily susceptible to manipulation.” Ink has already been spilled on how thin some of the closing cash auctions can be on the crypto exchanges which these prospective bitcoin futures contracts will use in determining the underlying’s price. With…