Blockchain Daily News – Edition 112, 12.12.2017
December 12, 2017
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 114, 14.12.2017
December 14, 2017

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 113, 13.12.2017

Blockchain Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 113, 13.12.2017

Fans’ Section

Morgan Stanley Buys Stake In Overstock Cryptocurrency

Kevin Dugan – The New York Post

Morgan Stanley went shopping at Overstock.com — and it had nothing to do with the discounted leather sofas. The Wall Street bank has purchased an 11.4% stake in the Web retailer just days before the Salt Lake City company’s cryptocurrency trading goes 

DNT: Uh, oh…Something is shaping up 

FAO: I recall we had Morgan Stanley in June saying that Blockchain was still in a “proof of concept” phase. They anticipated it would take several years before being used for financial settlements. Wow, how time flies…Anyway, this Overstock move is not surprising however, since Morgan Stanley’s CEO, James Gorman, had quite a positive attitude towards bitcoin in October – check it here, Fans’ Section.

Some Bitcoin Investors Are Mortgaging Their Homes To Buy More Digital Currency

Chris Morris – Fortune

As Bitcoin continues to soar in valuation, new investors are joining the craze, even if they don’t initially have the money to pay for the cryptocurrency. Securities regulator Joseph Borg says he has seen people doing everything from running up credit card debt to mortgaging their homes to pour money into the cryptocurrency.

DNT:  Hmmm, seems we have a real cryptomania here. This phenomenon reached dangerous levels. It would still be good a little caution, though.

FAO: Yip, I have also heard of people that took loans to invest in cryptos…THAT’S ABSOLUTELY MIND BLOWING. MY ADVICE IS: STOP DOING THAT! IMMEDIATELY!

‘More To come’ After Bitcoin Futures Launch: Cboe CEO, Ed Tilly

John McCrank – Reuters

Bitcoin’s Fraud Perception Will Change Over Time: Cboe CEO Ed Tilly

Henry Fernandez – Fox Business

Cboe’s CEO Ed Tilly said he thinks confidence in bitcoin — and concerns over fraud — will change over time.

Tilly: “We’re in the business of being able to express that opinion, and I want to polish this point in a transparent regulated marketplace, and I think a lot of that fraud can fall away when you know your end user.

DNT: Totally agreed. And the fact that BTC futures began trading on CBOE will be decisive. We witness the beginning of a new era for altcoins because Tilly also said that “Cboe is not only endorsing bitcoin but the concept of digital currency as well”.

FAO: Did you hear that, Jamie Dimon?

Deals, Investments & M&As

BitGo Closes $42.5m Series B Funding Round

Finextra

BitGo announced the close of its $42.5 million Series B financing, led by Valor Equity Partners with participation from David Sacks, Bill Lee, and DRW.

FAO: Total funding raised by the company since it was founded in 2013 hits $54.5m.

Cryptocurrencies

BlackRock Says Bitcoin Prices ‘Bubble-Like’ After Record Rally

Eric Lam, Denise Wee – Bloomberg (subscription)

With bitcoin prices up 17-fold this year and sitting above the $16,000 mark, valuations for the cryptocurrency are in “extreme” territory, according to BlackRock Inc.

We are seeing sort of bubble-like valuations,” Belinda Boa, the money manager’s head of active investments for Asia-Pacific, said. “BlackRock’s view is that this isn’t a financial asset like we would trade in terms of equities and fixed-income instruments.”

Philipp Sandner, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center: Blackrock of course is the best expert in the crypto universe. So many experts in the field, suddenly. But still, probably they are right. Maybe Blackrock has purchased crypto therefore the price rose? Or would like to get it down again?

FAO: Well, I think this is a start after all. Anyway, talking about a “valuation” differs a lot from the nature of prior opinions. Some time ago, BlackRock’s CEO, Larry Fink, said bitcoin thrives because of its anonymous nature (check here), and before that, in October, he said bitcoin is an index of money laundering…

Exclusive: CBOE & CME Group Rumoured To Be Mulling Ethereum & Litecoin Futures

Victor Golovtchenko – Finance Magnates

Both Chicago-based major derivatives exchanges are rumored to be preparing to launch Ethereum and Litecoin futures. The plan could have been developed well in advance, sources say. With the launch of Bitcoin futures being a test bed for the deployment of more cryptocurrency derivatives, the expansion of the asset class to the futures markets may be only just beginning.

DNT: Whooa, It’s quite a shivering (in a good way) rumor. As I said a few lines above, a new era for cryptocurrencies is shaping up. Let’s name it: Altcoin 2.0, what do you say Florin?

FAO: Clearly this is a test. CME is moving in on Monday. I am sure this was planned in every little detail for quite a while. All US exchanges offering derivatives will act towards crypto-derivatives. Here is a BDN edition last week discussing some of the future (s) plans. And, yes, ICE will act too, eventually – more about Jeff Sprecher’s way of doing things – here. Bitcoin futures is just the beginning…Question is, ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Bitcoin Buyers Get Unwanted Message: Wait In Line

Gregor Stuart Hunter – The Wall Street Journal

Bitfinex Is Down Due To “Heavy” DDoS Attack, Coinbase Down Too

Michelle Jones – ValueWalk

Coinbase Halts Ether & Litecoin Trading As Cryptocurrency Market Approaches $500 Billion

Frank Chaparro – Business Insider

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Coinbase, Bitfinex Down

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Digital currency exchange operators Coinbase & Bitfinex reported problems with service through their websites on Tuesday, frustrating traders seeking to cash in on the latest surge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

FAO: Yip, and these are only two examples of crypto exchanges encountering tech difficulties when facing large volumes. Kraken is also experiencing tech issues, on a daily basis, as many traders tell me.

BitPeople

Chicagoans Are Jumping Into The World Of Bitcoin: ‘Everyone Thinks I’m Crazy’

Samantha Bomkamp – Chicago Tribune

In January, Mike Haynes’ salary was cut in half as the tech startup he worked for restructured. By spring, he had burned through most of his savings. Now he’s one of the many speculators chasing their fortunes through bitcoin investing.

The Next  Bitcoin Enterprise In Chicago: Mining The Cryptocurrency

Steve Hendershot – Chicago Business

Chicago entrepreneur Jimmy Odom, who co-founded local-delivery startup WeDeliver in 2012, is announcing his next startup this week: BitCap, short for Bit Capital Group, which aims to expand access to a cryptocurrency practice called mining. Former Chicago Bear Israel Idonije is a partner and investor.

Via PRNewswire  – Iconiq Lab Adds Crypto Titan David Drake (Ed. note: David Drake is LDJ Capital Chairman) to Its Advisory Board.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Vanguard Successfully Tests Blockchain For Market Data

David Ricketts – Financial News

Vanguard has completed a blockchain technology project to provide a range of its index funds with up-to-date market data. As part of a pilot project lasting several months, Vanguard used the distributed ledger technology, which underpins cryptocurrency bitcoin, to feed funds with market information and eliminate the need for manual updates.

Regulation

Company Halts ICO After SEC Raises Registration Concerns

Mondovisione

SEC Halts Virtual Coin Offering, Issues Investor Warning

Pete Schroeder, Michelle Price – Reuters

The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warned investors of the dangers of putting their money into cryptocurrencies, saying trading and public offerings in the emerging asset class may be in violation of federal securities law.

DNT: Check the statement of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton HERE and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo statement HERE. Now, this question arises: Is USA still neutral in our Crypto-Teams BDN Global Outlook?  

FAO: US stays Neutral, for now. EU too. BUT we are pretty sure at least more regulation will soon emerge.

DNT: Oh, remember yesterdays video, about Bitcoin First Day At Chicago Exchange? Guess is true after all…

Analysis

Stop Talking About Bitcoin’s Market Cap

Aaron Back – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Bitcoin is taking over the world. Its rapidly rising value is making it bigger than some major financial companies, some big currencies and many of the world’s countries. Or so the bitcoin cheerleaders say.

Other news

Bitcoin: Mainstream Baby! Whales Hang Onto Their Bitcoins — No Big Shorts Yet

Naeem Aslam  – Forbes

In recent history, there hasn’t been any derivative which has gained more attention on the global platform as Bitcoin

Opinion

Bitcoin Is a Bit of A Miracle at Any Price

Tyler Cowen – Bloomberg (subscription)

There is a joke circulating on Twitter: “A boy asked his bitcoin-investing dad for 1 bitcoin for his birthday. Dad: What? $15,554??? $14,354 is a lot of money! What do you need $16,782 for anyway?”

DNT: A good one! 🙂

 

FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News