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Bitcoin This Week: From ETF Withdrawal to Leaked Samsung Smartphone’s Blockchain Wallet

Attention seems to be quietly shifting from the tendency for a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) to spur crypto markets growth. Despite its possibility to expose cryptocurrencies to its ~$3.5 trillion market, this week saw the withdrawal of the much-awaited VanEck SolidX bitcoin ETF proposal with the applicant citing the US government shutdown as a factor.

Unlike in the past when such news reflects on market prices, the proposal’s withdrawal from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – leaving no active bitcoin ETF proposals before it for the first time in more than a year – went almost unnoticed with no impact. Now, the market seems to be looking to other avenues to bring the needed influx of institutional investment to improve.

Bakkt platform
As part of ICE Futures U.S. plans to offer physically delivered daily futures contracts on Bitcoin traded in BTC/USD, the Bakkt platform this week released Bitcoin futures contract details. The operation is still subject to regulatory approval hence no date is in scope for its launch.

The argument, though, is that despite the preparedness and the postponements of its launch from last year, the Bakkt platform has not produced clear cut details on how its contribute would make cryptocurrencies bigger other its claims. It leaves room for attention to shift to the newest development in the space.

Samsung smartphone for crypto
This week brought about relative discussions on a new Samsung smartphone that will reportedly come with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet. According to leaked pictures of the phone scheduled for release late February 2019, the Galaxy S10 could feature a Blockchain Keystore which will be used to store cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The phone, if confirmed to be released with the said feature, can help increase mainstream validation by bringing access, familiarity and trust among its users and cryptocurrencies. Starting with the consideration that South Koreans account for about 30% of total cryptocurrency trading worldwide, there is a tendency it spurs wider use from across the spectrum. This stands a chance to have a long term effect on crypto adoption though there are claims that the mobile phone market is approaching “peak smartphone” – that is of the 5.5 billion adults on Earth of whom 5 billion have a mobile phone, between 3.5 billion and 4 billion have a smartphone (though between 800 and 900m are iPhones).

It is worth noting that if the leak is genuine, Samsung will be joining others like HTC (Exodus) to produce smartphones designed to support cryptocurrency.

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