September 17 – 23, 2019 | Bitcoin Options, Wells Fargo Stablecoin, and More

North iQ Weekly Newsletter is curated to provide insights on digital asset industry developments, market announcements, and performance analysis.

CME Group Will Launch Bitcoin Options in Early 2020

September 20 – The global markets company CME Group has announced that it will be releasing options for its bitcoin futures sometime in early 2020. According to Tim McCourt, the Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products at CME Group, the launch of bitcoin options will provide clients “with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk”. Options contacts on the price of bitcoin do exist today; however, they are purchased and sold through market facilities which operate in foreign jurisdictions which could be subject to lenient regulations. The lack of oversight on these market facilities may make them unfit for professional clients. Deribit, one of the leading bitcoin options trading platforms, only offers European-style options on the price of bitcoin. “Based on increasing client demand and robust growth in our Bitcoin futures markets, we believe the launch of options will provide our clients with additional flexibility to trade and hedge their bitcoin price risk. These new products are designed to help institutions and professional traders to manage spot market bitcoin exposure, as well as hedge Bitcoin futures positions in a regulated exchange environment,” said McCourt.

Read the full article from CoinDesk here.

CFTC Appoints Coinbase Lawyer to Head Division Overseeing Bitcoin Futures

September 17 – The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has appointed Coinbase’s vice president, Dorothy DeWitt, as its new market supervisor. DeWitt has been appointed to direct the Division of Market Oversight (DMO), which oversees derivatives products and platforms, as well as bitcoin futures. At Coinbase, DeWitt served in the exchange’s general counsel for business lines and markets. Previously, DeWitt spent time at Citadel Securities, S&P Global, and served as a portfolio manager. “[DeWitt] brings to the CFTC more than 20 years of private sector experience in the financial services and legal fields. Her strong investment, risk, legal, and compliance background and familiarity with distributed ledger technology, including crypto assets, will be invaluable as the agency looks to develop a holistic approach to regulating 21st century commodities,” said Heath P. Tarbert, the chairman of the CFTC.

Read the full article from CoinDesk here.

Privacy Coins Face Existential Threat Due to Regulations and Crypto Exchange Requirements

September 19 – The famed bitcoin bull and Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee has noted in a recent interview on CNBC Fast Money that there is a correlation between US equities markets and the market price of bitcoin. Lee believes that bitcoin could become a “risk-on” asset after US equities print a decisive breakout. Based on a past Fundstrat analysis, bitcoin often performs best when the S&P 500 index is up more than 15% YTD. Lee notes that three out of the four best years for the S&P 500 index over the last decade has also coincided with the strongest performing years for bitcoin. “I think that there have been tailwinds building for bitcoin. One has been institutional money potentially coming through things like Bakkt and programs like Libra and the technicals have been better. But I think bitcoin has kinda stalled recently because the macro outlook has stalled. In a world without trend, bitcoin doesn’t go up. So I think the next big catalyst is a decisive breakout in the equity markets because once equities reach an all-time high, bitcoin becomes a risk-on asset,” said Lee.

Read the full article from Bloomberg here.

Wells Fargo to Pilot Stablecoin Which is ‘Faster, Cheaper’ Than SWIFT

September 20 – Wells Fargo & Company has announced that it plans to pilot a stablecoin which is backed by US dollars. “Wells Fargo Digital Cash” will run on the bank’s first distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform, which is based on the R3 Corda Enterprise blockchain specification. The platform will enable the bank to conduct cross-border payments within the bank’s existing global network. Wells Fargo said that they successfully tested the technology between Canadian and US accounts using US dollars. According to spokesperson, the bank will consider other currencies after the project is piloted. “As a result of the increasing digitization of banking services globally, we see a growing demand to further reduce friction regarding traditional borders, and today’s technology puts us in a strong position to do that,” said Lisa Frazier, the head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo. “It’s faster than SWIFT, cheaper and definitely more efficient.”

Read the full article from CoinDesk here.

German Newspaper Reveals Libra Currency Basket Weights

September 23 – The German newspaper Der Spiegel has released the basket of global currencies that Facebook has planned to underpin its Libra cryptocurrency. Der Spiegel reportedly got ahold of the planned currency basket through a letter to Fabio De Masi, who is a German legislator and former member of the European Parliament. The weights of the currencies used in the basket will be US dollars at 50%, the euro at 18%, the Japanese yen at 14%, the British pound at 11%, and the Singapore dollar at 7%. Unsurprisingly, the Chinese yuan will not be included in the basket of currencies. Another report from Reuters last week suggested that the exclusion of the Chinese yuan in the basket of cryptocurrencies could help Facebook in its discussions with US officials, given the current trade tensions between the two countries. Meanwhile, China has viewed the Libra as a direct threat, and is currently developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) of its own.

Read the full article from CoinDesk here.

3iQ Bitcoin Trust (Class A) : NAV as at September 20, 2019

Underlying cryptoasset prices sourced from Bloomberg.View charts and more fund data at here.

3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund (Class A): NAV as at September 20, 2019

Underlying cryptoasset prices sourced from Bloomberg.View charts and more fund data at here.

3iQ Corp. (“3iQ”) is the first Canadian investment fund manager to agree to terms and conditions with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities which permit 3iQ to manage a multi-cryptoasset investment fund available to Canadian accredited investors. 3iQ provides accredited investors with exposure to bitcoin, ether, and litecoin through its 3iQ Global Cryptoasset Fund.

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This Weekly Cryptoasset Newsletter is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, either explicitly or implicitly, any provision of services or products by 3iQ Corp (“3iQ”). Investors should determine for themselves whether a particular service or product is suitable for their investment needs or should seek such professional advice for their particular situation.3iQ Corp. makes no representation or warranty to any investor regarding the legality of any investment, the income or tax consequences, or the suitability of an investment for such investor. All content is original and has been researched and produced by 3iQ unless otherwise stated therein. No part of the content may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without the express written permission of 3iQ. All statements made regarding companies, securities or other financial information contained in the content or articles relating to 3iQ are strictly beliefs and points of view held by 3iQ and are not endorsements of any company or security or recommendations to buy or sell any security. No securities regulatory authority has expressed an opinion about these securities and it is an offence to claim otherwise. By visiting and/or otherwise using the 3iQ website in any way, you indicate that you understand and accept the terms of use as set forth on the website and agree to be bound by them. If you do not agree to the terms of use of the website, please do no access the website or any pages thereof. Any descriptions of, references to, or links to other products, publications or services does not constitute an endorsement, authorization, sponsorship by or affiliation with 3iQ with respect to any linked site or its sponsor, unless expressly stated by 3iQ. Any such information, products or sites have not necessarily been reviewed by 3iQ and are provided or maintained by third parties over whom 3iQ exercises no control. 3iQ expressly disclaims any responsibility for the content, the accuracy of the information, and/or quality of products or services provided by or advertised on these third-party sites. The information contained herein, while obtained from sources believed to be reliable, is not guaranteed as to its accuracy or completeness and confers no right on purchasers. Past performance of cryptoassets is not indicative of future performance and should not be used to forecast any return that an investor may realize.

Fred Pye

Frederick T. Pye


Frederick T. Pye is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Director of 3iQ Corp. He is also the Chairman and Director of 3iQ Digital Holdings Inc. Mr. Pye is recognized for creating and promoting creative and unique investment products for the investment industry.

Mr. Pye has managed private client portfolios with Landry Investment Management and various other investment dealers. Prior to this Mr. Pye was Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Argentum Management and Research Corporation, a company dedicated to managing and distributing quantitative investment portfolios including the first long-short mutual fund in Canada.

He was also Senior Vice-President and National Sales Manager of Fidelity Investments Canada and an integral part of the team that saw assets rise from $80 million to over $7.5 billion in assets under management during his tenure. He also held various positions with Guardian Trust Company, which listed the first Gold, Silver and Platinum Certificates on the Montreal Exchange.

Mr. Pye obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Concordia University.