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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Nvidia, AMD and Bitcoin Investment Trust

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 08, 2017 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA Free Report), AMD (NASDAQ:AMD Free Report) and Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCMKTS:GBTC Free Report).   

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Bitcoin Soars to Record: Fork Futures and ETFs Explained

Bitcoin soared to a new high above $3,400 today, more than tripling in value from around $997 at the start of the year. The digital currency now has a market value exceeding $55 billion. Total value of all cryptocurrencies is more than $116 billion now, per

Bitcoin is up more than 22% over the past week, thanks mainly to a smooth split in the cryptocurrency into bitcoin and bitcoin cash. Other cryptocurrencies have also surged of late.

Bitcoin’s closest rival ether has risen more than 37% over the past week and about 3,300% year-to-date. It has a market value exceeding $25 billion. The surge in cryptocurrencies has also boosted Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDAFree Report) and AMD (NASDAQ:AMDFree Report) stocks as their chips are used for cryptocurrency mining.

“Hard Fork” Creates Bitcoin Cash

The two-year old conflict over how to expand bitcoin’s processing capacity in order to meet increased demand finally came to a resolution. On August 1, a new version of the digital currency--Bitcoin Cash-- was created after the so-called “hard fork” or split. (Read: SEC Reviews Bitcoin ETF—The Skyrocketing Cryptocurrency Explained)

Bitcoin transactions are grouped into blocks limited to one megabyte in size, resulting in a limit of seven transactions per second.  This had slowed trading and resulted in higher fees.

Bitcoin cash will be processed in eight-megabyte units and the network would be able to process more than 50 transactions per second. It has mainly been backed by some miners in China.

Major exchanges have so far not supported bitcoin cash.  Coinbase, the leading cryptocurrency exchange, initially said they would not support it but later announced that they are “planning to have support for bitcoin cash by January 1, 2018, assuming no additional risks emerge during that time.”

After inception, bitcoin cash soared and then fell in a very volatile day of trading. It is currently trading around $269 and has a market value of $4.4 billion. (Read: Ethereum ETF? The Bitcoin Crushing Digital Currency Explained)

CBOE to Lunch Bitcoin Derivatives

Last week, CBOE entered into an agreement with Gemini Trust, the bitcoin exchange run by Winklevoss twins, to use data for bitcoin derivatives products.  According to the press release the exchange plans to launch cash-settled bitcoin futures in the fourth quarter of 2017 or early 2018, pending regulatory approval.

CBOE could also consider bitcoin options. Given bitcoin’s extreme volatility, these derivatives could become quite popular with investors if the plan wins regulatory approval.

Bitcoin and Ether ETFs Under SEC Review

Earlier this year, the SEC had rejected the ETF proposed by Winklevoss twins but they are now reviewing the decision again. This was not the only bitcoin ETF; there were two more going through the regulatory approval process.

Another bitcoin ETF, proposed by SolidX Management, was also rejected in March. The third one proposed by Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTCMKTS:(GBTC - Free Report) – Free Report) is being reviewed. (Read: 5 Smart Beta ETFs with Brilliant Returns)

The SEC is also reviewing an ether ETF proposal, filed by the backers of the EtherIndex Ether Trust.

The Bottom Line

Love them or hate them, you cannot ignore digital currencies. The development of cryptocurrencies is an important financial innovation. These currencies are assuming a greater role as medium of exchange and store of value and their importance will grow immensely in the coming years.

At the same time, while the market for digital currencies is slowly becoming more mature, investors should be prepared to stomach violent price swings.

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Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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