by Florin Oprea
Jemima Kelly & Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters
Jhoo Dong-chan – Korea Times
Lawmakers are preparing a bill that requires government officials to report their possible ownership of cryptocurrencies.Rep. Noh Woong-rae of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea said he is preparing a bill to include virtual coins worth 5 million won ($4,700) as an asset for public servants to report.
FAO: Latest announcements & rumours from China (more here), recent statements followed by uncertainty in South Korea (more here), all led to a SEA OF RED. The panic is in charge. If you’re invested I suggest you go for a walk. Or grab a good book…or watch CoinDaddy, read the story below…
Peter Lawrence Kane – SF Weekly
CoinDaddy, a 28-year-old former real estate guy named Arya Bahmanyar. Mr. Bahmanyar works full time at CoinDaddy after becoming a self-described crypto-millionaire.
FAO: Just to get your mind on something else during these manic days…
Joon Ian Wong – Quartz
Lamborghini reported record sales. It delivered 3,815 vehicles to customers last year, its seventh consecutive year of sales growth. Now, correlation is not causation, but Quartz would like to point out that as Lamborghini sales have surged, so has the price of ether. Ether traders prize Lamborghinis (half-jokingly) as the ultimate status symbol in their world.
DNT: Indeed, a strange correlation. I have my doubt, but..who knows. It might be some truth in it…
FAO: We live some really crazy times…
Jon Russell – TechCrunch
Telegram isn’t content with sitting on a platform like Ethereum for its token sale and services, as most ICOs are. Instead, it wants to create a platform of its own to rival Ethereum for hosting a new wave of decentralized services and internet experiences tipped to emerge thanks to the blockchain.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
An unidentified thief has reportedly stolen more than $400,000 in Stellar lumens after hacking the digital wallet provider BlackWallet. According to cybersecurity reearcher Kevin Beaumont, the attacker hijacked BlackWallet’s domain name system (DNS) server over the weekend, adding a piece of code which transferred any deposits of 20 or more lumens into another wallet.
Gideon Long – Financial Times (subscription)
When Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro unveiled plans for the “petro”, an oil-backed cryptocurrency, he predicted it would allow the country to become financially independent and circumvent US sanctions. The idea is for the government to issue 100m petros, each backed by a barrel of oil from the country’s vast reserves. A regulatory body has been set up to oversee the scheme and anyone who wants to trade in petros must register with the state by January 21.
DNT: Check our FREE ARCHIVE for more information about the the oil-backed crypto.
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
BitConnect said it’s closing the company’s cryptocurrency exchange and lending operation after receiving two cease-and-desist letters from state authorities for the unauthorized sale of securities and suffering from denial-of-service attacks.
FAO: Finito! BitConnect down 93% at time of writing…
Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider (subscription)
New customer sign-ups to the world’s oldest cryptocurrency exchange jumped by 1,000% last year as the price of bitcoin skyrocketed. Nejc Kodrič, the CEO of the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp, told that average new customer sign-ups rose from 5,000 to 10,000 a day at the start of 2017 to over 100,000 a day by the end of the year.
FAO: I can’t stop thinking of all those (un)lucky holders of pending accounts – missing all this market action…muhaha
Beth Mellor – Bloomberg (subscription)
Companies that have seen their fortunes — and share prices — soar with the crypto-craze are now facing a little bit of a reality check.
Reuters Staff – Reuters
The Shenzhen stock exchange said it would punish companies that speculate on blockchain technology and mislead investors, following steep gains in share prices of more than a dozen companies.
FAO: Better stay put! Don’t want to mess with The Shenzhen stock exchange.
Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)
Long Blockchain is continuing the transformation by teaming up with a British firm specializing in the technology that powers digital-currency transactions.
A cryptocurrency app is to be launched by one of the world’s largest independent financial services organizations due to “soaring global demand” and in defiance of financial traditionalists.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing. is one of hundreds of companies that have benefited by supplying components for Apple Inc.’s iPhone over the past 10 years. Now the world’s biggest maker of bespoke microchips may see digital currencies like Bitcoin become even more important for its growth.
FAO: Yeah, and all those people out there, buying all that mining equipment…makes you think…
Valentina Kirilova – Leap Rate
Horizon Software announced its new support for the cryptocurrency market. The Horizon Trading Platform now provides users with the option of trading Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies, such as Ether, Ripple and Litecoin, so clients can make the best use of algorithmic framework and automation capacities to trade all the major cryptocurrencies in a sophisticated way.
Kevin Dugan & Carleton English – New York Post
The crypto-race is on. As the bitcoin, ethereum, ripple and hundreds of other crypto-coins move from niche investments to more widely accepted ones, financial data companies are racing one another to become the first major hub for the unregulated assets.
Joel Rebello – Economic Times
Even as governments across the world are undecided on how to regulate crypto currencies, Pundi X is planning to launch a point of sale terminal network which will help people buy and sell these currencies over the counter. The company plans to launch its network in Singapore, Indonesia, Africa and Brazil followed by India later this year.
Zheping Huang – Quartz
China is set on stopping its citizens from trading bitcoin. Chinese authorities plan to widen their crackdown on domestic crypto-trades, by targeting methods including over-the-counter trading, offshore sites used for centralized trading, and peer-to-peer trading of large transactions, according to a report from the state-run Securities Times (link in Chinese).
FAO: Read my yesterday’s comments on the topic. First section – first comment.
Susan Decker & Jennifer Surane – Bloomberg (subscription)
Bank of America may not be willing to help customers invest in Bitcoin, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t plowing into the technology underlying the cryptocurrency.
Banking cooperative Swift has signed an MoU with seven CSDs to explore how DLT can be used to improve post-trade processes such as corporate actions, proxy voting and trade processing.
Sujha Sundararajan – CoinDesk
David Meyer – Fortune
France has appointed what Les Echos called a “Monsieur Bitcoin”—or Mr. Bitcoin—to develop a Gallic approach to the topic. Jean-Pierre Landau, a Sciences Po economic professor and former Bank of France deputy governor, will lead a task force to grapple with the risks around cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, economy minister Bruno Le Maire announced.
FAO: Oh, mais non! C’est quoi, ça?
San Francisco Chronicle
Illinois lawmakers have formed a subcommittee to explore state policies over decentralized digital currencies like bitcoin.The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation doesn’t consider digital currencies valid. But some lawmakers believe digital currencies and blockchain technology may have benefits that could make state government more efficient.
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Qatar’s central bank will consider the topic of virtual currencies and there may be an opportunity in the future to introduce them in Qatar, central bank governor Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said.
FAO: Qatar announced the plans for building a fintech hub. More in today’s FinTech Daily News.
Sophie Bearman – CNBC
As bitcoin’s popularity surges and its price rises and falls, more and more people are asking the same question: How does bitcoin, something that’s essentially invisible and intangible, have value?.
DNT: Try to find out an answer in this good analysis!
Mark Decambre – MarketWatch
The price of a single bitcoin was recently around $10,791 after tumbling as low as $10,064 a big drop from Monday’s peak above $14,000. The fall is part a broad selloff among the world’s virtual currencies blamed in part on nagging fears of increased regulatory scrutiny in South Korea and elsewhere. That leaves the total value of cryptos tracked by CoinMarketCap.com at roughly $520 billion, down sharply from last week’s peak above $800 billion.
Tim Loh – Bloomberg (subscription)
There’s a growing debate over how much power will be sucked up by the world’s growing ranks of cryptocurrency miners.
Jing Cao & Olga Kharif (subscription) – Bloomberg
IBM and A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S have started a company that will use new technologies such as blockchain, a digital ledger best known for underpinning bitcoin, to track cargo movements and automate paperwork for shipping across international borders.
Sam Jacobs – Business Standard
Financial experts are split in their opinions when it comes to cryptocurrencies.But Australian fund manager Michael Glennon is well and truly in the bearish camp.
Atulya Sarin – MarketWatch
In the same way that the automobile was a big unknown in the days of horse-drawn carriages, cryptocurrencies are unknown in today’s world of cash, gold, and credit cards. But it would be a grave mistake for government regulators to overreach and delay this innovation from reaching its potential.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News