Bitcoin bulls now have a new opportunity to put their money where their sentiment is. On Tuesday, CFTC regulated derivatives exchange, LedgerX, launched a Bitcoin savings account, the latest in a slew of traditional banking products made available for the digital currency.
LedgerX is an institutional trading platform that touts itself as the first federally regulated exchange to offer and execute Bitcoin swaps and options for institutional investors. Although their management team derives from some of the most recognizable institutions in finance, unlike derivatives exchanges like Cboe and CME Group, LedgerX is entirely crypto-focused.
Their latest product breaks new ground for the investment products available for digital currencies.
Regulated Bitcoin Savings Accounts
These savings accounts will have a holding duration of three, six, or twelve-months periods, and the company expects annual returns as high as 16%.
For investors, these accounts pay interest in dollars rather than additional Bitcoin, and the rates vary by account, although the company didn’t specific details on the variance. Moreover, the company will charge a transaction fee for each service provided to the investor.
In a nod to the potential for high-yield volatility from Bitcoin, the account’s product page reminds investors that they have the potential for investments to double in value if Bitcoin prices increase while in the savings account.
In this way, investors see savings accounts as a way to earn additional returns on their Bitcoin investment or as a way to hedge against loss should the value of the digital currency depreciate while in the account.
Most importantly, it diversifies the crypto investment opportunities by moving beyond buy and hold strategies or futures contracts.
New Norms in Bitcoin Markets
In comments to Forbes, LedgerX co-founder, Juthica Chou, notes that their new savings account is just a more streamlined version of the activity already happening on their platform. She estimates that half of the platform’s activity is the long-form workaround of this same scenario.
Chou conveyed that they company completes $30 million in monthly transactions and 70% of that derives from options trades. Before the savings account, platform users use a call overwrite where an investor issues an option for a later time with at a higher rate. The new account simplifies this workaround.
As a result, Chou acknowledge:
“This interface will definitely be skewed to long bitcoin holder who will likely only deposit bitcoin and who will want to earn interest off of that bitcoin.”
In contrast, Bitcoin futures contracts offered by Cboe and CME are most popular among Bitcoin bears who bet that the digital currency will decrease in value over time.
There is an expanding repertoire of institutional investment products for Bitcoin, which can further increase digital currencies by making them available to more people with more money to spend.
LedgerX’s new product announcement occurs during what many dubbed “blockchain week,” in conjunction with Consensus, a three-day conference taking place in New York City. What’s more, at a time when speculation and concern about crypto regulation is at an all-time high, LedgerX understands that a fully regulated and audited product that should provide protection for the company should new norms be established in the future.
Cover Photo by Daniel Chen on Unsplash