Blockchain Daily News – Edition 122, 08.01.2018
January 8, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 124, 10.01.2018
January 10, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 123, 09.01.2018

Blockchain Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 123, 09.11.2018

Fans’ Section

Pivot to Blockchain Saves Iced-Tea Maker From Nasdaq Delisting

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.

Cryptocurrency May Be Getting Quietly Channelled To North Korea University

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…

CEO Of Porn Cryptocurrency Disappears With Investor Money

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…

Deals, Investments & M&As

Seagate, Western Union Surge On Speculation Of Stakes In Ripple

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…

Overstock Leads $2 Million Funding For Blockchain Voting Startup

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.

Cryptocurrencies

Telegram Plans Multi-Billion Dollar ICO For Chat Cryptocurrency

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.

Ethereum Co-Creator Steven Nerayoff Says The Cryptocurrency’s Value Could Triple In 2018

Chloe Aiello – CNBC

Ether Tops Ripple To Reclaim Second Spot In Crypto Rankings

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.

Ripple Bumps And Bitcoin Blues

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.

A Cryptocurrency Created As A Joke About A Dog Meme Now Has A Market Cap Above $2 Billion

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.

Exchanges & Trading Venues

South Korea Inspects Six Banks Over Virtual Currency Services To Clients

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…

Indian Banks Are Choking Bitcoin Exchanges By Blocking Payments And Withdrawals

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?

SEC Says Bitcoin Futures Trading Not Against Rules

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

Binance, Bitfinex, Bittrex Temporarily Say No To New Users

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.

Vendors

Interview With IBM’s Vice President of Blockchain Technologies, Jerry Cuomo — Part 1

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.”

BitPeople

Via CoinDesk – Andrea Tinianow, the founding director of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative has left the project.

Latest Developments & Agreements

New ‘Insane’ ETF Proposal For Bitcoin Generates Worry On Wall Street

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.

Fund Managers Say Bitcoin ETF Proposals Withdrawn Due To SEC Concern

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…

Regulation

Bitcoin Is An Asset, Not A Currency: Israel’s Central Bank

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.

How China’s Stifling Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies: QuickTake Q&A

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.

SEC Branch Trolls Blockchain Stock Pumpers

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.

Analysis

Ten Cryptocurrency Predictions For 2018 From The Co-founder Of The Blockchain Research Institute

Don Tapscott – Quartz

2018 will be the year where the tremendous innovation and promise of blockchain must become real.

FAO: Today’s must-read.

Peter Thiel Revealed To Have Invested In Bitcoin Last Year, But Bitcoin’s Reaction Means More Than That News

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.

A Look At Some Bitcoin And Blockchain Companies

Matt Bohlsen  – Seeking Alpha

Other news

Blockchain, Truck Drivers And Renren

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.

Opinion

A Christmas Tale: My Bright Idea Of Giving A Taste Of Bitcoin

Financial Times (subscription)

VC Who Was One Of The Earliest Bitcoin Bulls Says You Should Take Some Profits If You’ve Seen A Huge Return In Crypto

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