Blockchain Daily News – Edition 120, 22.12.2017
December 22, 2017
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 122, 08.01.2018
January 8, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 121, 06.01.2018

Blockchain Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 121, 06.11.2018

News Round-Up – Winter Holidays

Fans’ Section

Ripple Co-founder,Chris Larsen, Is Now Richer Than The Google Founders On Paper

Evelyn Chang – CNBC

Thanks to one digital currency’s surge in the last few weeks, Chris Larsen, the co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple is now one of the five richest people in America.

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund Makes Monster Bet On Bitcoin

Rob Copeland – The Wall Street Journal

Thiel’s Founders Fund Has Been Quietly Buying Bitcoin Since 2012

Lizette Chapman – Bloomberg (subscription)

Bitcoin Is The “New World Currency” Peter Thiel Wanted PayPal To Be

Joon Ian Wong & John Detrixhe – Quartz

Bitcoin prices rose on a Wall Street Journal report that Peter Thiel’s investment fund recently made a major wager on the cryptoasset, adding to the list of bigwigs whose support for the market has inflamed the mania. But the PayPal co-founder is no bitcoin arriviste—he’s had a vision for a stateless digital currency for nearly two decades.

Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund BlockTower Raises $140 Million

Michael McDonald – Bloomberg (subscription)

BlockTower Capital raised $140 million and hired Michael Bucella a former vice president at Goldman Sachs expanding its team to eight people, according to people familiar with the matter.

After Bitcoin Craters, Investor Mike Novogratz Delays Plan For $500 Million Cryptocurrency Hedge Fund

Evelyn Cheng – CNBC

Michael Novogratz, head of Galaxy Investment Partners, has delayed plans to launch what would have been the largest digital currency fund so far.

Wall Street Bosses Hate Bitcoin But They Try It Out Anyway

Larry Light – CBS News

Wall Street thinks bitcoin and its cryptocurrency ilk are a) bad news or b) an opportunity. Answer: maybe both.

Bitcoin Fever To Burn Out In ‘Spectacular Crash,’ David Stockman Warned

Stephanie Landsman – CNBC

David Stockman, President Ronald Reagan’s former director of the Office of Management and a relentless Wall Street bear, is warning investors that the cryptocurrency boom will end disastrously.

Stockman: “It’s basically a class of really stupid speculators who have convinced themselves that trees grow to the sky,” ..”It will burn out in a spectacular crash. All of these latter-day speculators will have their hands burned to a crisp, and they will learn the proper lesson.

Deals, Investments & M&As

Waves Announces New Blockchain Investment Fund

Simon Golstein – Finance Magnates

The fund will operate along the same lines as a venture capital fund, but blockchain technology will make the process much faster and cheaper than with traditional investment funds.

2017 Was The Year The ICO Came To Town. Here’s What’s In Store For 2018

Jack Ellis – Tech In Asia

Token sales, crowd sales, ICOs. Call them what you will, but they were 2017’s biggest tech trend. By working mainly with blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies, startups sold tradeable, cryptocurrency-like digital tokens. In turn, this enabled them to raise billions of dollars in funding via ICOs without turning to traditional venture capital.

Cryptocurrencies

Ripple Cryptocurrency Surges As Japanese Groups Agree To Use It

Martin Arnold – Financial Times (subscription)

Ripple has passed Ethereum to become the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency by market capitalisation after the California-based cross-border payments company enjoyed an end-of-year jump in its market price.

Bundesbank Says No Eurozone Cryptocurrency In Sight

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Bundesbank board member Carl-Ludwig Thiele has ruled out the introduction of official digital money for the euro zone and warned of losses from investments in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

Japan And South Korea At Heart Of Cryptocurrency Fever

Leo Lewis & Emma Dunkley

Official attempts to curb enthusiasm — such as the Chinese government’s September ban on centralised cryptocurrency exchanges — have hardened the resilience. Chinese devotees have taken to trading bitcoin on peer-to-peer networks, or taken their business offshore.

Once The Cryptocurrency Bubble Bursts, There May Be Real Innovation And A Solid Valuation Case For Many Coins

Arjun Kharpal – CNBC

The world of cryptocurrencies is one of the most divisive topics in finance right now. But amid the debate, there are a lot of people asking how to value this stuff and why bitcoin has traded nearly as high as $20,000.The answer right now is simple: There are no fundamentals.

The Criminal Underworld Is Dropping Bitcoin For Another Currency

Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)

Privacy coins such as monero, designed to avoid tracking, have climbed faster over the past two months as law enforcers adopt software tools to monitor people using bitcoin.

UK Central Bank Mulls Cryptocurrency Linked To Pounds Sterling

Sujha Sundararajan – CoinDesk

A research unit established by the Bank of England is investigating the introduction of a cryptocurrency linked to pounds sterling. The team involved expected to report back within the next 12 months, a Telegraph report says.

Get Set For Petro, Venezuela’s Crypto Answer To Bitcoin

Jose Orozco & Natasha Doff – Bloomberg (subscription)

In a new twist to the cryptocurrency craze, Venezuela, the South American oil giant in default on some of its dollar bonds, plans to issue its own digital unit, dubbed the petro.

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange and QUOINE Announce Strategic Partnership

Menafn

GBX & QUOINE are forming a strategic partnership, built on industry best practice and proven technology to provide the cryptocurrency markets with a robust global liquidity alliance.

Vendors

Blockchain Pumping New Life Into Old-School Companies Like IBM

Olga Kharif  – Bloomberg (subscription)

IBM was one of the first big companies to see blockchain’s promise, contributing code to an open-source effort and encouraging startups to try the technology on its cloud for free.

China’s Central Bank Can Tell Local Governments To Regulate The Power Usage Of Bitcoin Miners: Source

CNBC

China’s central bank told a top-level government internet finance group that the monetary authority can tell local governments to regulate the power usage of bitcoin miners to gradually reduce the scale of their production.

BitPeople

Ex-banker Barry Silbert Cheerleads His Way To Cryptocurrency Riches

Anna Irrera –  Reuters

The Blockchain That Wouldn’t Die

Steve Stecklow & Anna Irrera –  Reuters

Ethereum classic was the result of things going wrong.

Bitcoin Exchange Chief, Pavel Lerner, Kidnapped As He Leaves Work

Margi Murphy  – The Telegraph

Exmo Executive Pavel Lerner Released by Kidnappers After $1 Million Ransom Paid

JD Alois – Crowdfund Insider

Pavel Lerner is reportedly healthy and safe after kidnappers released him following an abduction in Kiev, Ukraine on December 26th. Lerner, who is listed as the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Exmo on his LinkedIn profile, was approached by men with machine guns wearing balaclavas and whisked away in a black Mercedes Benz as he was leaving an Exmo office. It has been widely reported that Lerner paid a ransom of USD $1 million in Bitcoin to secure his release.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Ethereum Foundation Announces Millions In Grants for Scaling Research

Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk

The non-profit that oversees development of ethereum has officially unveiled two subsidy programs that will support research on how to grow the number of transactions its blockchain can process.

Exclusive: Telegram To Release Blockchain Platform, Native Cryptocurrency

David Dinkins – The CoinTelegraph

The popular encrypted messaging app Telegram will launch its own Blockchain platform and cryptocurrency, according to sources familiar with the matter. The new platform will be dubbed either “The Open Network” or “Telegram Open Network” and is supposed to be based on an improved version of Blockchain technology.

Regulation

South Korean Government Concerned With Scams in Bitcoin Market, Fake Exchanges

Joseph Young – The CoinTelegraph

After South Korea Moves To Ban New Cryptocurrency Trading Accounts

Evelyn Cheng – CNBC

Bitcoin Dips Below $14,000 as South Korea Eyes Fresh Regulations

Kyungji Cho & Eric Lam

Why Is South Korea Suddenly Terrified Of Bitcoin?

David Josef Volodzko – SCMP

Bitcoin has been hailed as the greatest technological innovation of our time, yet it seems South Korea, one of the most technologically innovative societies, is now not only giving up its role as a leader in the field but aggressively fighting the trend. Some observers suggest the government has many reasons to be afraid of bitcoin, not the least of which is the cryptocurrency’s potential to be used by Kim Jong-un ’s North Korea as a covert economic weapon. But leaders point to other concerns as well.

Israeli Regulator Wants A Stock Market Ban On Companies That Are Based On Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin

CNBC

Israel Might Launch Its Own Cryptocurrency

Stan Schroeder  – Mashable

Israel might be launching its own private Bitcoin in a few years. The Bank of Israel is looking to issue a digital currency to create a faster payments system as well as reduce the country’s reliance on cash, according to an anonymous source.

Belarus Recognizes Cryptocurrencies In Bid To Become Bitcoin Haven

Russia Today

Europe’s Last Dictator Wants To Run A Global Crypto Hub

Aliaksandr Kudrytski – Bloomberg (subscription)

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, who’s labored for years under the title of Europe’s last dictator, is making a bid for a shiny new image as the continent’s freewheeling cryptocurrency king.

Russia’s Finance Ministry Prepares Draft Law On Cryptocurrency Regulation

TASS

The Russian Ministry of Finance has prepared a draft law of regulation of cryptocurrencies, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

Moldova Aims To Leverage Blockchain For Economic Growth

Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates

Malta Plans To Introduce DLT Framework Of Its Own To Rival Gibraltar

Joe Wallen – Gibraltar Olive Press

Malta has announced regulatory framework plans for distributed ledger technology to rival Gibraltar as Europe’s leading jurisdiction for the emerging industry. Gibraltar become the first territory in Europe to regulate companies using the online database on January 1.The framework has encouraged fintech businesses to move to Gibraltar as they can operate with legal protection.

Crypto-Teams BDN Global Outlook

Team “Pro”: Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Catalonia, Argentina, Gibraltar (new entry), Malta (new entry), Belarus (new entry), Moldova (new entry)

Team “Against”: China, India, Russia, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Israel (new entry)

Team “Neutral”: EU, USA, Canada

Former FDIC Chair, Sheila Bair: Why We Shouldn’t Ban Bitcoin

Yahoo Finance

Some argue that bitcoin performs no socially useful function and thus should be banned. But value — like beauty — is in the eye of beholder.

Startups, Accelerators & Hubs

Bitcoin Catches Fire In Thailand

Jesus Alcocer – Bangkok Post

There are 37 bitcoin brokers in Thailand registered on LocalBitcoins, some with more than 1,000 bitcoins in assets. Prices for bitcoin are about 13% higher in Thailand than in the US, a sign of high demand…

Analysis

RBC Report: Crypto And Blockchain Could Unlock $10 Trillion Market

Aaron Stanley   – CoinDesk

Mitch Steves, a research analyst at the Royal Bank of Canada sees cryptocurrency, blockchain technology and decentralization as a potential $10 trillion ecosystem.

Bitcoin Could Boost Japan’s GDP, Nomura Analysts Say

Evelyn Chang – CNBC

Japan’s bitcoin craze could help the country’s economic growth, research analysts at Nomura Instinet said.

Bitcoin Will Trade Between $6,500 And $22,000 In 2018, According To The First Analyst To Cover It

Jeff Cox – CNBC

Bitcoin could trade in a range of $6,500 to $22,000 in 2018, according to Nick Colas at DataTrek Research, an analyst who’s been covering the cryptocurrency for at least four years.

Bitcoin’s Real Value Could Be Zero, Morgan Stanley Analyst James Faucette Says

John Patrick Pullen – Fortune

As the price of Bitcoin and Bitcoin futures have risen in 2017, one Morgan Stanley analyst has a radically different take on the digital currency. James Faucette said in a research note that the value of Bitcoin could actually be… zero.

Bitcoin Is A ‘Dicey Investment’

Stephanie Landsman – CNBC

There are dangers lurking in the cryptocurrency market that could burn a lot of investors, according to Michael Dudas, a veteran gold analyst.

How One Mysterious Startup Is Riding the Bitcoin Wave

Cory Johnson – Bloomberg (subscription)

With hardly a year of operations under its belt and scant results to show for it, UBI Blockchain Internet is riding buzzwords to a stock boom. It’s become one of the most valuable publicly traded companies in the bitcoin universe – second only to LongFin Corp. The stock surged almost 1,000% in 2017 valuing UBI Blockchain at $1.2 billion.

Other news

Bitcoin Tensions Rise As Investors Claim Banks Freezing Their Accounts

Jennifer Duke  – The Sydney Morning Herald

Bitcoin investors are claiming Australia’s banks are freezing their accounts and transfers to cryptocurrency exchanges, with a viral tweet slamming the big four and an exchange platform putting a restriction on Australian 

Cryptocurrency’s Worrying Boom

Japan Times 

Cryptocurrencies are experiencing a frothiness reminiscent of the dot-com bubble, with bitcoin exhibiting more volatility in the last month than did U.S. equities on Black Monday in 1987, Black Tuesday in 1929 and the Great Recession of 2008. This volatility comes as virtual currencies assume a new prominence in business and finance, raising important questions about their role, viability and regulation.

As Energy Markets Evolve, Blockchain Powers Up

Jeremy Wagstaff – Euronews

Energy startups have been using blockchain to power electricity sharing in microgrid trials from Texas to Tasmania for a year or so.

Opinion

How The Blockchain Is Redefining Trust

Rachel Botsman – Wired

The Death Of The ICO (And 4 Other 2018 Predictions)

Stefan Thomas  – CoinDesk

If 2017 was the year of the ICO, 2018 will be the year of the great ICO hangover. It will also be the year major financial institutions adopt digital assets, and mark the birth of hybrid blockchains.

It’s Only A Matter Of Time Before China Lifts Crypto Exchange Ban, Entrepreneur Bobby Lee Says

Dan Murphy – CNBC

“In this world, nothing is ever permanent,” said Bobby Lee, CEO and co-founder of BTCC, which closed down its China-facing trading operations in September 2017 after a well-publicized government crackdown.

 

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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News