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Bitcoin investors seem to be in positive spirits these days as most of the crypto gang were able to stay in the green for the week. Here’s a quick roundup of updates in the industry.

First up, check out this snapshot of how bitcoin and its buddies have fared in the past seven days as of November 9, 01:15 pm GMT.

Cryptocurrencies Weekly Performance (Image from Coin360)
Cryptocurrencies Weekly Performance (Image from Coin360)

Morgan Stanley’s bullish BTC outlook

It really means a lot when bitcoin gets the thumbs-up from a hotshot financial institution, huh? No less than Morgan Stanley gave an upbeat overview of the evolution in bitcoin, particularly as the cryptocurrency turns into a “new investment class.”

The report entitled “Update: Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain” released last week gained more coverage as investors turned the spotlight to futures and other securities based on bitcoin. It predicted that financial markets could lean more towards the use of crypto in the future, stating:

“Over the coming years, we think that the market focus could turn increasingly toward cross trades between cryptocurrencies/tokens, which would transact via distributed ledgers only and not via the banking system.”

Furthermore, the report foresees that retail investors could stay put while more institutional investors get involved. It did list some reservations about the industry, particularly involving regulators and the energy usage involved in mining, but was overall optimistic that larger market players could more readily adopt bitcoin next year.

SEC watching ICOs and platforms closely

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have been dubbed the Wild, Wild, West of the cryptocurrency industry as this is the equivalent of an IPO for startups seeking to raise funding. Because of that, it could offer potentially large upside but since no regulatory framework exists yet, it also has a huge risk for fraudulent activity.

The SEC has been busy looking into these activities on the hunt for coins or tokens that are in possible violation of securities laws. In its annual enforcement report for the year, it noted several illicit ICOs, three of which defrauded investors of over $68 million.

Apart from working on ICO guidelines that could protect consumers from losing their hard-earned cash, the SEC has also been keeping a watchful eye on token exchanges. Just this week, the regulator charged EtherDelta founder Zachary Coburn for operating an unregistered token exchange.

While developments like these typically spark jitters across the industry, investors seem to be in support of the regulatory action as it would likely weed out fraudulent activity from legitimate ones.

In other SEC-related news, the regulator has ended its public comment period on pending bitcoin ETF applications, which suggests that a decision could come anytime soon.

Bitcoin Cash hard fork

In case y’all are wondering what’s up with the 36% weekly gain in Bitcoin Cash, it likely has to do with its upcoming hard fork on November 15. Exchanges have already made preps for this update and a handful expressed support for the split due on November 15.

Keep in mind that this upcoming hard fork does not have the consensus from the community as arguments are still going on over which set of updates should be included in the code change. This could result to a split into Bitcoin ABC and Bitcoin SV, which claims to be executing Satoshi’s vision better.

With that, things could get ugly as market watchers can’t quite tell which version could win out. Some exchanges such as Poloniex conducted “pre-fork” trading to get a better clue, and this suggested that Bitcoin ABC might be the preferred one.

Just be warned, there is a considerable amount of risk in trading cryptocurrencies due to their inherent volatility and sensitivity to headlines. Be careful out there!