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CME Launches Ethereum Futures

CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, today launched Ethereum futures, further expanding its crypto derivatives offerings in this emerging asset class.

“As institutional demand for transparent, exchange-listed crypto derivatives continues to increase, we are pleased to launch our new Ether futures contract,” said Tim McCourt, CME Group Global Head of Equity Index and Alternative Investment Products. “The addition of Ether, along with our liquid Bitcoin futures and options, will create new opportunities for a broad array of clients, whether they are looking to hedge ether positions in the spot market or gain exposure to this cryptocurrency on a regulated derivatives marketplace.”

“Just like in other capital markets, derivatives have become the avenue of choice for institutions to access cryptocurrencies,” said Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks. “Our status as a U.K. FCA regulated benchmark provider, whose compliance is regularly audited by Deloitte, gives institutions further confidence to enter the cryptocurrency space via the CME Ether futures contact based on our CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate. For the first time, investors can gain exposure to the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap via a U.S.-regulated futures contract. Just as Bitcoin futures paved the way for institutions to enter the crypto market in 2017, so CME Ether futures will allow CME Group clients to gain even greater exposure to the asset class.”

“CME Group has been an integral participant in the continued institutionalization of this asset class, and the launch of Ether futures is yet another milestone,” said Michael Moro, CEO of Genesis Global Trading Inc. “Genesis is excited to continue to work closely with CME in this effort.” 

“The launch of CME Ether futures is an exciting addition to the digital assets ecosystem as it evidences the ongoing maturation of the asset class as a whole,” said Michael Sonnenshein, CEO of Grayscale Investments. “At Grayscale Investments, we’ve seen enormous growth in investor interest for Ethereum and we’re excited to see the growing list of financial product offerings expanding access to digital currencies.”

CME Ether futures are cash-settled, based on the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate, which serves as a once-a-day reference rate of the U.S. dollar price of Ether. Ether futures are listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, CME Group enables clients to trade futures, options, cash and OTC markets, optimize portfolios, and analyze data – empowering market participants worldwide to efficiently manage risk and capture opportunities. CME Group exchanges offer the widest range of global benchmark products across all major asset classes based on interest rates, equity indexes, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural products and metals. The company offers futures and options on futures trading through the CME Globex® platform, fixed income trading via BrokerTec and foreign exchange trading on the EBS platform. In addition, it operates one of the world’s leading central counterparty clearing providers, CME Clearing. With a range of pre- and post-trade products and services underpinning the entire lifecycle of a trade, CME Group also offers optimization and reconciliation services through TriOptima, and trade processing services through Traiana.

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Stellar Lumens Price Prediction

Two weeks ago we released our Bitcoin price prediction for 2021. Two days ago we released our Ethereum price prediction for 2021. Today we’d like to present our Stellar Lumens price prediction for this year.

Several Popular XLM Predictions

As is our tradition, before we present our forecast for the price of a cryptocurrency, we always like to share a few predictions from others within the crypto industry.

PrimeXBT shares these Stellar Lumens predictions:

Crypto Rating – XLM $0.69
Crypto Rating, an esteemed authority and providing realistic price predictions on various cryptocurrency assets, has given XLM a price forecast of just $0.46 within a year, and in the next five years expects Stellar to reach a price target of $0.69. Given past performance, these estimates are modest.

The Economy Forecast Agency – XLM $0.64
The Economy Forecast Agency uses a long-term forecasting valuation model to predict prices of various assets, including cryptocurrencies, projects Stellar Lumens growth to reach just $0.64, matching the sentiment of many of the other experts and analysts listed.

CoinSwitch – XLM $1.00
CoinSwitch, another price prediction authority, points to an estimate of $1 per XLM token, with price action being driven by partnerships with IBM and various governments.

Trading Beasts – XLM $0.10
Trading Beasts provides yet another extremely modest expectation in the short-term, with XLM reaching $0.10 per token.

CryptoGround – XLM $0.74
Cryptoground.com expects the altcoin cryptocurrency to reach a price of $0.74, which is the strongest out of all price predictions for XLM by industry experts.

Investor Place repeated 4 of the above XLM predictions, and added the following XLM forecast:

Coinliker – XLM $3.33
Coinliker takes a much more bullish stance on the cryptocurrency with an estimate of $3.33 in five years’ time .

Elevenews provided five more XLM predictions worth reporting:

Long Forecast Stellar Prediction – $0.30
Long Forecast gave an entirely conservative prediction, as their stellar price prediction forecasts that XLM might reach $0.30, which make sit look like it won’t grow much as compared to the current price.

Wallet Investor XLM Price Prediction – XLM $1.05
Wallet Investor updates prices and predictions every three minutes using the latest technical analysis. They have very conservatively made a 5-Year forecast of $1.005.

Mega Crypto Price – XLM $5.10
The price forecast at Mega Crypto Price has been very optimistic for all the cryptocurrencies and its the same for XLM price forecast, too, predicting that Stellar could be worth $5.10 by the end of 2020. The team says that this can be achieved as long as there are no major security flaws and the overall sector performs well.

Monetize Info – XLM $3.00
Monetize believes that Stellar’s major partnerships will be the major reason behind an upcoming price surge, which might result in XLM’s price reaching $2-$3 by 2020. Beyond IBM, Stellar’s partners include Stripe, Deloitte, etc.

For example, Stripe gave Stellar a 3-million-dollar capital injection a few years back which Stellar immediately returned in XLM.

The Economy Forecast Agency – XLM $0.64
This website features a long-range forecasting model to make market forecasts for corporate clients. The website has its own price prediction for 2020, which says XLM will see a high of $0.64 in 2020, which is by far the most conservative and pessimistic of XLM’s price predictions.

There are other popular websites that share predictions for the price of Stellar Lumens, however, the forecasts are rather outdated and have already proven inaccurate. For instance, cryptonewsz.com predicts:

The predicted high for 2021 might be around $0.089 and on the downside, the low might be around $0.065.

As of press time, January 20, 2021, and at last check the current price of XLM is just a tad under $0.29. Stellar Lumens has already tripled the yearly high predicted by cryptonewsz.com.

A Summary of Stellar Lumens Predictions

The above Stellar Lumens price predictions for 2021 range from a low of $0.10 to the highest XLM forecast price of $5.10.

Our Analysis suggests that all of the above 11 XLM predictions are too low.

It is our conviction that 2021 is the year in which the next 4 year cycle top is due. The first 4 year cycle top arrive in 2013, and the second 4 year cycle top arrived in 2017.

XLM To Surge For 4 Year Cycle High In 2021

Bitcoin is the only coin that we have data for both 4 year cycle tops. To calculate our Ethereum price prediction for 2021 we only had data from one 4 year cycle top. We reported that, “Ethereum went up by a factor between 89x and 173x during 2017 for the last 4 year cycle top.”

We use previous price performance as a guide to possible future price performance. Of course, it’s no guarantee, only a guide.

So what was Stellar Lumens’ price performance in 2017?

Stellar Lumens In The Previous 4 Year Cycle High

On January 1, 2017, XLM was priced at one-fourth of a cent, $0.0025. It ended the year at 36 cents, $0.36. However, it did reach an all time high 4 days later at over 93 cents.

Depending on whether you’re looking at the highest price reached on January 4, or whether you’re looking at the end of the year price 4 days prior, XLM went up in price between 144x and 372x.

We do not expect XLM to increase by the same amount. Bitcoin’s 2nd four year cycle saw gains much less than its first, and we expect Stellar Lumens to do the same.

All factors considered, including the macro financial climate, the new crypto-friendly administration in the U.S., and the 4 year cycle, we are expecting XLM to go up in price by a factor between 29x and 74x.

Stellar Lumens started this year at a price just shy of $0.13. Thus, are target high price for XLM at year end is between $3.77 and $10.01.

Stellar Lumens at $10.01 in 2021

We believe the conditions favor a very strong crypto bull run in 2021, and thus we are going to base our Stellar Lumens price prediction on the high side of the range and forecast an end of the year price target for XLM to be $10.01.

What Is Stellar?

Stellar is an open source, decentralized protocol for digital currency to fiat money transfers which allows cross-border transactions between any pair of currencies. The Stellar protocol is supported by a Delaware nonprofit corporation, the Stellar Development Foundation, though this organization does not enjoy 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS.

Stellar is an open-source protocol for exchanging money or tokens using the Stellar Consensus Protocol. The platform’s source code is hosted on GitHub.

Servers run a software implementation of the protocol, and use the Internet to connect to and communicate with other Stellar servers. Each server stores a ledger of all the accounts in the network. 3 nodes are operated by the Stellar Development Foundation, in conjunction with 21 other organizations, providing for a total of 66 validator nodes. Transactions among accounts occur not through mining but rather through a consensus process among accounts in quorum slice. The current network fee is 100 stroops, equivalent to 0.00001 XLM or 1/10,000th of a cent.

History of Stellar

In 2014, Jed McCaleb, founder of Mt. Gox and co-founder of Ripple, launched the network system Stellar with former lawyer Joyce Kim. Before the official launch, McCaleb formed a website called “Secret Bitcoin Project” seeking alpha testers. The nonprofit Stellar Development Foundation was created in collaboration with Stripe CEO Patrick Collison and the project officially launched that July. Stellar received $3 million in seed funding from Stripe. Stellar was released as a decentralized payment network and protocol with a native currency, stellar. At its launch, the network had 100 billion stellars. 25 percent of those would be given to other non-profits working toward financial inclusion. Stripe received 2 percent or 2 billion of the initial stellars in return for its seed investment. The cryptocurrency, originally known as stellar, was later called Lumens or XLM. In August 2014, Mercado Bitcoin, the first Brazilian bitcoin exchange, announced it would be using the Stellar network. By January 2015, Stellar had approximately 3 million registered user accounts on its platform and its market cap was almost $15 million.

The Stellar Development Foundation released an upgraded protocol with a new consensus algorithm in April 2015 which went live in November 2015. The new algorithm used SCP, a cryptocurrency protocol created by Stanford professor David Mazières.

Lightyear.io, a for-profit entity of Stellar, launched in May 2017 as the commercial arm of the company. In September 2017, Stellar announced a benefits program, part of its Stellar Partnership Grant Program, which would award partners up to $2 million worth of Lumens for project development. In September 2018, Lightyear Corporation acquired Chain, Inc and the combined company was named Interstellar.

Real-world Applications of Stellar

In 2015, it was announced that Stellar was releasing an integration into Vumi, the open-sourced messaging platform of the Praekelt Foundation. Vumi uses cellphone talk time as currency using the Stellar protocol. Stellar partnered with cloud-based banking software company Oradian in April 2015 to integrate Stellar into Oradian’s banking platform to add microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Nigeria.

Deloitte announced its integration with Stellar in 2016 to build a cross-border payments application, Deloitte Digital Bank. In December 2016, it was announced that Stellar’s payment network had expanded to include Coins.ph, a mobile payments startup in the Philippines, ICICI Bank in India, African mobile payments firm Flutterwave, and French remittances company Tempo Money Transfer.

In October 2017, Stellar partnered with IBM and KlickEx to facilitate cross-border transactions in the South Pacific region. The cross-border payment system developed by IBM includes partnerships with banks in the area.

In December 2017, TechCrunch announced Stellar’s partnership with SureRemit, a Nigerian-based non-cash remittances platform.

On January 6, 2021, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine announced cooperation and partnership with Stellar in development of Ukraine digital infrastructure after which Stellar value increased by 40%.