by Florin Oprea
Evelyn Cheng – CNBC
Interactive Brokers Chairman Thomas Peterffy appears to be cooling his skepticism on bitcoin as a financial asset.
Peterffy: “I think that bitcoin being listed on two reputable exchanges gives a great deal of reputation to the product itself and I think as a result it will become even more popular than it’s been before,”
DNT: It’s pretty interesting how important voices easily change their speech..It’s true, BTC now gains more legitimacy with the launch of futures contracts and I agree with Thomas Peterffy: it will be more and more popular.
FAO: So US brokers are starting to look at this from a different perspective, and it doesn’t look that bad. In fact it’s exactly the opposite…right? After all, a whole new asset class means new business for everybody: exchanges, brokers, advisors, techies…yeah yeah, for banks too, at some point in the future. After more regs into place, I presume. BTW, here’s an useful article…
Francine McKenna – Market Watch
Regulators all over the world have begun to address the challenges presented by virtual currencies that bypass regulated banks, financial firms exchanges and central clearinghouses.
FAO: Oh, and speaking about new business for everybody in financial markets, here’s another useful article…
Patti Domm – CNBC
Brady Dale – CoinDesk
The initial phase of a token sale for Overstock.com subsidiary tZERO has seen significant investor activity, according to CEO Patrick Byrne. The first leg of the sale – in which the firm is selling Simple Agreements for Future Equity that will later be redeemed for tokens by accredited investors – began, albeit a bit later than planned. Hiccups aside, Byrne said the sale ultimately attracted a big crowd – some 2,000 accredited investors.
FAO: Better late than never…I like the name: tZERO. Might have some significance considering that Byrne has even advanced the idea of selling his retail business and going full crypto – more here.
Nathaniel Popper – The News York Times
There are hedge funds with blockbuster returns. Then there is the Pantera Bitcoin Fund. The fund — one of the first in the world to dedicate itself to virtual currencies — released its returns in a letter sent to investors on Tuesday. The figure for the life of the fund, which was set up in 2013, is eye popping: 25,004%
Ryan Browne – CNBC
People are currently paying $28 on average to make transactions using the digital currency, according to data by BitInfoCharts. Ryan Radloff, co-founder and principal at CoinShares, pointed to a potential solution to the issue known as the “Lightning Network.”
Cryptocurrencies have exploded in 2017. But while prices are surging, transactions are facing long delays because the networks are flooded with traffic. This is the problem facing the Ethereum network. One man, Vlad Zamfir, has a plan to fix it. This week, Bloomberg’s Matthew Leising and Brad Stone speak to Zamfir about his big dreams for Ethereum and how his project (codenamed Casper) could pave the way for masses of ordinary internet users to join in the craze.
DNT: Read more about Vlad Zamfir’s Casper here, Cryptocurrencies Section too
Eric Lam – Bloomberg (subscription)
Jon Russell & Fitz Tepper – TechCrunch
Coinbase is investigating whether its employees took advantage of inside knowledge to profit on the launch of bitcoin cash when it was added the popular crypto exchange.
FAO: Will they also announce the results of this investigation?
Youbit, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it will file for bankruptcy, as it was hacked, which led to the exchange losing 17% of their assets.
FAO: Bye bye 17%…
Kathleen Elkins – CNBC
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates hasn’t been too vocal on the subject lately, but he has expressed a cautiously positive opinion in the past.
Gates: “Bitcoin is exciting because it shows how cheap it can be,”…”Bitcoin is better than currency in that you don’t have to be physically in the same place and, of course, for large transactions, currency can get pretty inconvenient.”
FAO: Recently (Vendors Section) Microsoft expanded its strategic partnership with R3 to accelerate adoption of R3’s Corda platform amongst businesses using Microsoft Azure.
The research and innovation centre of the Italian Bankers Association, ABI Lab, is building a blockchain proof-of-concept to handle straight-through processing of interbank reconciliations over the R3 Corda platform.
Yomi Kazeem – Quartz
Over the past 18 months, due to reasons ranging from needing to make international payment bitcoin adoption in Nigeria has spiked. This year, peer-to-peer bitcoin trading in Nigeria has increased by nearly 1,500% – surpassed only by China.
FAO: Nothing surprising if you consider bitcoin’s spike in price & popularity this year and the fact that Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the seventh most populous country in the world.
Sara Salinas – CNBC
As cyberattacks take aim at larger targets and higher ransoms, and with the price of bitcoin spiking, CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz said there’s “absolutely” reason to believe North Korea has an appreciating pile of bitcoin to fund future attacks.
DNT: Check our FREE ARCHIVE, if you want more information about North Korea BTC activity.
Eric Rosenbaum – CNBC
As bitcoin nears $20,000 and other digital currencies experience unprecedented gains, some of the biggest names in the corporate world are seeking patents related to the blockchain — financial companies like Visa, retailers like Walmart and the tech old guard like IBM. And in what likely would cause distress in the open-source movement, in late November one of the business world’s most notorious patent trolls hatched plans to create and amass a trove of blockchain patents.
Evelyn Chang – CNBC
More traditional money managers are worried about bitcoin than ever before. The soaring digital currency topped the list of “most crowded trades” — a measure of sentiment on which a popular investment could quickly reverse its gains — in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s December global fund manager survey. The survey found that 32% of respondents named bitcoin as the most crowded trade in the financial world, up from 26% in September when the digital currency first led the list.
FAO: Read this BDN bulletin for more details regarding that September BAML survey.
Tim Wu – The New York
What gives the Bitcoin bubble significance is that, like ’90s tech, it is part of something much larger than itself. More and more we are losing faith in humans and depending instead on machines. The transformation is more obvious outside of finance.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News