Blockchain Daily News – Edition 121, 06.01.2018
January 6, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 123, 09.01.2018
January 9, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 122, 08.01.2018

Blockchain Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 122, 08.11.2018

Fans’ Section

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg BACKS Cryptocurrency And Reveals Why Bitcoin Will SHAPE The World

Oli Smith – Express

Mark Zuckerberg Is Right To Explore The Potential Of The Blockchain For Facebook

Jon Russell – TechCrunch

In what is Mark Zuckerberg’s now-traditional New Year speech, the Facebook supremo pledged to fix the social network’s many problems which bubbled up in 2017. Perhaps understandably, that admission hogged the headlines but Zuckerberg also said he plans to study encryption and the blockchain “see how best to use them in our services.”

FAO: Facebook counted 2 bln users in June 2017. Need I say more? Also, remember that in October Facebook announced a partnership with PayPal, implementing the service into P2P payments on Messenger. Oh, right… Remember the recent reports involving PayPal’s founder, Peter Thiel, and bitcoin…more here.

Deals, Investments & M&As

Capital Markets Foe Seeks An End Run Via Blockchain

Brian Patrick Eha – American Banker

Overstock Gets $100 Million From Soros Fund For Blockchain And More

Michael del Castillo  – CoinDesk

Overstock just got a hefty chunk of change from one of the biggest names in finance, and CEO Patrick Byrne says much of it will fund the company’s blockchain work. The company disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this week that the holder of a warrant had exercised its right to buy $100 million worth of shares. Although the filing did not identify this investor, Byrne said it was the Quantum Fund, managed by billionaire George Soros.

FAO: Wow! Now this is major! We will keep watching Overstock…

IBM, Comcast Ventures Back Fund for Blockchain Business Startups

Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)

IBM and Comcast’s venture arm will become the largest supporters of an investment fund for startups that help corporations use blockchain. The startup accelerator, called MState, plans to invest $25,000 to $50,000 apiece in five or six companies over the next six months, co-founder Rob Bailey said.

Altucher-Backed Crypto Exchange Raising $10 Million

Pete Rizzo – CoinDesk

Investment guru James Altucher has invested in a seed round for a Delaware company called Bitzumi, which intends to offer a forthcoming newsletter product and exchange service. The firm plans to raise up to $10 million, with a minimum raise of $1 million.

Coinify Raises $4.8 Million To Bring Cryptocurrencies To Retailers

Dean Takahashi – Venturebeat

Coinify has raised $4.8 million to take cryptocurrencies to more retail locations.

The investment was led by Nordic Eye and included SEED Capital and SEB Ventures. Coinify is already serving more than 60,000 merchants in Europe, enabling them to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from shoppers as payment for everyday transactions.


Venezuela To Issue Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency In `Coming Days’

Jose Orozco – Bloomberg (subscription)

Maduro Says Venezuela Will Issue $5.9 Billion In Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency

Fabian Cambero & Girish Gupta – Reuters

President Nicolas Maduro said that Venezuela would issue 100 million units of its new oil-backed cryptocurrency in coming days, although it is unclear whether any investors will want to purchase the “petro” at a time when the OPEC member is going through a deep economic crisis and its leftist government has little credibility.

DNT: We first reported about the Venezuelan plans to create an oil-backed cryptocurrency last month, hereCryptocurrencies Section.  

Ripple Slides After Coinbase Says Not Adding New Crypto Coins

Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

Ripple, the white-hot cryptocurrency that more than doubled in the past week, plunged as much as 20% after Coinbase said it’s not adding any new coins to its exchange at this time.

FAO: Coinbase is currently struggling to service its current users and to open new accounts. Adding Ripple on the platform would have meant an enormous effort. This was expected…

Ripple’s XRP Jumps On Unconfirmed Report Western Union Plans To Use Its Services For Money Transfers (WU)

Graham Rapier – Business Insider

Ripple’s XRP has rallied 20% off its intraday lows following an unconfirmed report Western Union is going to use its technology.

FAO: Here comes the Ripple roller coaster…

Second-Largest Cryptocurrency Ripple May Have Run Ahead Of Itself

Evelyn Chang – CNBC

Digital currency ripple has blown past its cryptocurrency rivals largely because it is working with large institutions, which give it an aura of legitimacy and practicality.

Dogecoin – The Billion Dollar Joke

Tyler Jefferson – Money Morning

While bitcoin was going through a massive pullback in December, another cryptocurrency was smashing records. This tiny crypto saw a 357% gain in just one month. Its market cap blew through a billion US dollars, and shows no signs of slowing.

The problem is, it’s a joke.

FAO: An expensive one…


Breaking Bitcoin With A Quantum Computer

Jeff John Roberts – Fortune

Alex Beath, a Toronto-based physicist and pension fund analyst, is skeptical about Bitcoin but sees one useful purpose for the crypto-currency: It may detect when someone creates a working quantum computer.


Experience Counts For Crypto Ventures

Jeffrey Kutler – GARP

Credibility-building domain expertise is in demand as finance-focused blockchain companies staff up and fill out their boards for the long haul.

FAO: Here’s the latest article signed by our reader, contributor and friend, Jeff Kutler, Editor in Chief, Global Association of Risk Professionals, Senior Contributing Editor, Institutional Investor.

Rise Of Bitcoin Competitor Ripple Creates Wealth To Rival Zuckerberg

Nathaniel Popper – The New York Times

The virtual currency boom has gotten so heated that it is throwing the list of the world’s richest people into disarray. Chris Larsen, a Ripple co-founder who is also the largest holder of Ripple tokens, was worth more than $59 billion, according to figures from Forbes. That would have briefly vaulted Mr. Larsen ahead of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg into fifth place on the Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

The Secret Lives Of Students Who Mine Cryptocurrency In Their Dorm Rooms

Karen Hao – Quartz

Exploiting a crucial competitive advantage and motivated by profit and a desire to learn the technology, students around the world are launching cryptocurrency mining operations right from their dorm rooms.

DNT: And they don’t pay the energy the profit is considerably higher!

Latst Developments & Agreements

Brazil May Write New Laws With Data Stored On The Ethereum Blockchain

Joon Ian Wong – Quartz  

How to collect and verify signatures from 145 million voters across a landmass larger than the mainland United States? Brazilian legislators are turning to ethereum to solve that issue in one of the first uses of a cryptocurrency by a political system.


China Wants An “Orderly Exit” From Bitcoin Mining

Zheping Huang – Quartz

Bitcoin mining could be on its last legs in China.The country’s top internet-finance regulator, the Leading Group of Internet Financial Risks Remediation, issued a notice asking local governments to “guide” bitcoin-mining operations to make an “orderly exit” from the business, according to a leaked document online.

FAO: Clampdown reaches the “roots” of the “system’s enemy…

SEC Warns Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Investors At Risk

Reuters Staff – Reuters

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission warned last week that investors should “exercise caution” with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, noting state and federal regulators may not be able to recoup any lost investments from illegal actors.

Startups, Accelerators & Hubs

2018 Is The Year ICO Companies Become Investors, Too

Jon Russell – TechCrunch

The rise of ICOs surprised many in the tech industry, helping blockchain companies raise close to $4 billion in 2017, and that’s all set to continue with a twist in 2018. Beyond continued momentum for ICOs, also known as token sales, leading ICO companies themselves are set to start investing.


Long Blockchain Cashes In On Crypto Craze With Stock Offering

Julie Verhage – Bloomberg (subscription)

The legion of microcaps that have booked massive share-price gains after changing their business to focus on the crypto craze are now looking to cash in.

U.S. Company Plans Funds That Double Bitcoin Price Moves


U.S. fund managers are ramping up efforts to tap into the fever surrounding digital assets, and the latest planned bitcoin products could deliver some head-turning and stomach-churning price movements if they come to market.

The Warning Signs Of A Crypto Disaster?

Sam Volkering – Money Morning would have been enough. Perhaps would have also done the job. But as best practice any normal email address, whatever it was, worked just fine.

Back in the ‘early days’ of altcoins and crypto, that’s pretty much all you needed to register on a crypto exchange. These days you need to provide government issued ID.

Other news

Some Cryptocurrency-Backed Debit Cards Dropped From Visa Network, Leaving Users Scrambling

Annie Nova – CNBC

Visa ended its relationship with a large cryptocurrency card provider, causing thousands of people’s transactions to be declined and scrambling to figure out how to access their money.

The Cryptocurrency Bubble Is Strangling Innovation

Jon Evans – TechCrunch

Sure, fine, maybe it’s a bubble. OK it’s definitely a bubble, but that’s a good thing, a bubble brings attention and investment in infrastructure, which breeds real innovation. Right? Look at the dot-com boom. A lot of people lost a whole lot of paper money, but it brought us a cheap worldwide fiber backbone and companies like Amazon and Google. Today’s crypto bubble is just like that. Right?


Will Anyone Still Buy Coffee With Bitcoin? Digital Currency’s Surge Impairs Its Usefulness In Real Life

Josh Ye – SCMP

Bitcoin’s soaring transaction fees, following the digital currency’s 1,300 per cent surge in value in the past year, have made it practically useless as a token of exchange in Hong Kong.

How I Fell For The Blockchain Gold Rush

Mark Beaumont – The Guardian

Cryptocurrencies that can make millionaires in minutes are justification enough to get out of bed at 5am to gamble.


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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News