by Florin Oprea
Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)
For years, the owners of an unprofitable iced-tea company watched their stock tumble. Last month, they saw it almost triple in a day after a simple name change, and the timing couldn’t have been more convenient. Long Island Iced Tea Corp., changed its name on Long Blockchain Corp., and its market capitalization soared to almost $70 million. It has stayed above the $35 million threshold since then.
FAO: Unfortunately, as you might know, this wasn’t the only case. Former makers of juice, sports bras and sofas also renamed their companies and their shares soared. This is getting dangerous…I bet SEC is already working on regulating cases like this.
Joyce Lee – Reuters
Cybersecurity company AlienVault said it has found software that appears to install code for mining cryptocurrency and sends any mined coins to a server at a North Korean university, the latest sign that North Korea may be searching for new ways to infuse its economy with cash.
FAO: Hmmm, don’t want to think what these guys are doing in those North Korean university dorms…Hopefully this has nothing to do with the case below…
Kevin Dugan – New York Post
A cryptocurrency built for watching live-streaming porn is turning out to be a buzzkill.
Four investors in the digital currency, called Fantasy Market, claimed last week that its shadowy CEO disappeared with their money — and has not refunded all their investment despite repeated requests.
DNT: Did anyone have any other expectations? Oh, it seems so…At least four “investors”…
FAO: This para made my day: “Four investors in the digital currency, called Fantasy Market, claimed last week that its shadowy CEO disappeared with their money — and has not refunded all their investment despite repeated requests.” Oh boy, we had some repeated sessions of good laugh in our office…
Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)
First it was Western Union investors who got ripple fever. Now its stockholders of Seagate Technology Plc who are cashing in on speculation that the firm has ties to one of the hottest digital coins.
FAO: “Ripple fever” you say? Better treat that with some cold wallets…
Sujha Sundararajan – CoinDesk
Medici Ventures, a subsidiary of Overstock has led a seed funding round for mobile voting platform Voatz. Voatz raised over $2.2 million in the round, which also saw investments from the Urban Innovation Fund and Oakhouse Partners, as well as angel investors including Walt Winshall, Tom Williams, Joe Caruso and members of the Walnut Ventures angels group.
Mike Butcher – TechCrunch
Encrypted messaging startup Telegram plans to launch its own blockchain platform and native cryptocurrency, powering payments on its chat app and beyond. According to multiple sources, the “Telegram Open Network” will be a new, ‘third generation’ blockchain with superior capabilities, after Bitcoin and, later, Ethereum paved the way.
FAO: Is there anybody else left to wonder why Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has recently declared he plans to study encryption and the blockchain and “see how best to use them in our services” – more yesterday.
Chloe Aiello – CNBC
Kailey Leinz – Bloomberg (subscription)
Ether has reclaimed the title of the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value. Ripple had a short-lived stint after surging past the digital coin for the ethereum network 10 days ago, but has slipped in the rankings after falling more than 14%. The decline was initially spurred by an announcement last week that Coinbase Inc. wouldn’t list any new coins such as ripple on its online exchange.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg (subscription)
It’s been almost a month since Wall Street took a step toward adopting Bitcoin as its own with the launch of cash-settled futures contracts. The results haven’t been stellar. Promoted as “Gold 2.0,” Bitcoin hasn’t quite worked out that way: Its price in dollars has fallen by about 20% from a mid-December high, while its volatility has climbed to its highest in two years.
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Dogecoin, the digital currency inspired by the popular Doge meme, now has a market capitalization above $2 billion.Its founder is worried the coin’s recent rise indicates wider frothiness in the cryptocurrency market.
Christine Kim & Dahee Kim – Reuters
South Korean financial authorities said they are inspecting six local banks that offer virtual currency accounts to institutions, amid concerns the increasing use of such assets could lead to a surge in crime.
FAO: Looks like these banks just couldn’t resist the temptation…
Nupur Anand – Quartz
The splash of 2017 may turn into a fight for survival for bitcoin this year in India.
As the country’s cryptocurrency exchanges deal with the manic rush, banks have become a stumbling block. Possibly taking cue from the uneasiness shared by the Reserve Bank of India and the Narendra Modi government, some of the lenders are no longer comfortable with virtual currencies. This has led to issues with deposits and withdrawals.
FAO: In a nebulous regulatory framework these kinds of actions can get really messy. Lawyers need a new source of revenue too, right?
Wichit Chantanu & Sorn Siri & online reporters – Bangkok Post
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has said the country’s first bitcoin futures trading service offered by a securities company is not against rules but urged investors to apply caution due to high risks.
FAO: There you go, another change in our
Crypto-Teams BDN Global Outlook
Team “Pro”: Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Catalonia, Argentina, Gibraltar, Malta, Belarus, Moldova, Thailand (new entry)
Team “Against”: China, India, Russia, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Lebanon, Taiwan, Israel
Team “Neutral”: EU, USA, Canada
Joshua Althauser – The Cointelegraph
With the surging price of cryptocurrencies, demand has reached the point where cryptocurrency exchanges are completely swamped. This massive influx of users has led to major infrastructure concerns leading to the temporary closure of their registration portals.
Billy Duberstein – The Motley Fool
While 2017 may be the year in which bitcoin took the investing world by storm, 2018 may be the year when bitcoin’s underlying technology, the blockchain, takes the business world by storm. In fact, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said that, “What the internet did for communications, I think blockchain will do for trusted transactions.”
Via CoinDesk – Andrea Tinianow, the founding director of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative has left the project.
Jeff Cox – CNBC
Direxion Asset Management is looking to launch five bitcoin ETFs that seek up to double the moves of the cryptocurrencies daily futures trading.
Trevor Hunnicutt – Reuters
Two U.S. companies shelved proposals to launch bitcoin exchange-traded funds, citing ongoing concerns by the Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Trusts controlled by Rafferty Asset Management and Exchange Traded Concepts each canceled plans to launch three bitcoin funds that could be traded by retail investors as easily as stocks. Neither firm could be reached for comment.
FAO: A matter of time…just give it some space…
Steven Scheer – Reuters
Israel’s central bank said it would not recognize virtual currencies such as bitcoin as actual currency and that it was difficult to devise regulations to monitor the risks of such activity to the country’s banks and their clients.
Grant Clark – Bloomberg (subscription)
China, home to the world’s biggest community of bitcoin miners, is cracking down on cryptocurrency activity – more so than most other major economies. From a halt to virtual currency trading on domestic exchanges to banning ICOs regulators have taken a proactive role in shaping the stratospheric rise of bitcoin and its peers.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
The social media team at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fort Worth office has taken aim at the recent trend of publicly-traded companies looking for a blockchain price boost.
Don Tapscott – Quartz
2018 will be the year where the tremendous innovation and promise of blockchain must become real.
FAO: Today’s must-read.
Winklevoss Bitcoin – Seeking Alpha
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies’ price volatility remains deeply connected to news coverage, even when the information is not too relevant as in the revelation about Thiel’s past investment.
Matt Bohlsen – Seeking Alpha
Tim Culpan – Bloomberg (subscriptions)
Renren’s stock jumped 47% after the operator of a lackluster social network in China decided that an ICO was a good idea.
Financial Times (subscription)
Fred Imbert – CNBC
One of the earliest bitcoin bulls has a message for investors in the cryptocurrency market who have already made a killing: Lock in some of those profits.
“If you are sitting on 20x, 50x, 100x your money on a crypto investment, it would not be a mistake to sell 10%, 20% or even 30% of your position,” Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist and co-founder at Union Square Ventures
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News