by Florin Oprea
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Frances Schwartzkopff – Bloomberg (subscription)
As Nordea Bank blazes a trail in Europe by banning its employees from trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the regulator is taking a back seat in a decision-making process it says is better left to the industry.
FAO: Pretty cool regulator. The markets will decide…
Ryan Vlastelica – Financial News
The chorus of bitcoin bears is growing louder by the day. The latest to issue a stern warning against the world’s largest digital currency is Goldman Sachs investment management division, which wrote that there is “no doubt” that the cryptocurrency’s astronomical rise over the past year “has pushed it into bubble territory”.
FAO: I am sure that most of our readers are aware that bitcoin’s price is about half of what it was in December. So, if we come to speak about “bubbles”, we can even say the bubble has already burst, as the price is down 50%….
Thomas Franck – CNBC
Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley may think highly of blockchain technology, but he isn’t planning on investing in bitcoin anytime soon. Buckley, who succeeded the firm’s former chief, Bill McNabb, at the start of the year, oversees roughly $4.5 trillion in assets under management.
Silvia Amaro – CNBC
UBS believes that bitcoin is a speculative investment and is not advising its clients to invest in the digital currency, the bank’s chairman Axel Weber said.
Yuji Nakamura – Bloomberg (subscription)
ICO funding surged to $6.8 billion in 2017, from $151 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016 combined, according to research firm Smith + Crown. The growth comes even as ICOs attract the scrutiny of governments, including China and South Korea.
FAO: Hence the urgent desire for regulation manifested by governments all over the world. Don’t forget this could (and will) represent new tax revenues for governments.
Anna Irrera – Reuters
More than 10% of funds raised through ICOs are lost or stolen in hacker attacks, according to new research by Ernst & Young that delves into the risks of investing in cryptocurrency projects online. The professional services firm analyzed more than 372 ICOs, in which new digital currencies are distributed to buyers, and found that roughly $400 million of the total $3.7 billion funds raised to date had been stolen.
FAO: Hopefully regulation will contribute to a decrease of such stats.
Leonid Bershidsky – Bloomberg
There’s a compelling reason to consider what’s going on with cryptocurrencies a purely speculative boom-and-bust roller-coaster: Over a three-month period, the prices of all the top coins and tokens are rather strongly correlated, going up and down in unison. What does that make them if not the 21st-century incarnation of tulip bulbs?
Dawn Kissi – CNBC
Venezuela — rife with double-digit inflation, civil strife and signs of imminent economic collapse everywhere — has seen the future, and it’s in cryptocurrency. Now, it just has to convince elements of its own citizenry, as well as the rest of the world.
DNT: You can find in our FREE ARCHIVE a lot more stories regarding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s plans to issue a cryptocurrency that would leverage its vast oil reserves as money. Just search.
The Next Web
Bitcoin investment website BitConnect might have closed down its fraudulent lending and exchange platform, but its task force of dedicated promoters are still at it – and are now targeting gullible “investors” in Indonesia and other parts of Asia.
Julie Edde – Bloomberg (subscription)
Lynsey Barber – City A.M.
The world’s biggest bitcoin exchange by trading volumes is opening its doors in Europe for the first time amid a major boom in cryptocurrencies.
Press release here.
FAO: Whooaa. BitFlyer flies to Europe to seize the opportunity.
Yoon Yung Sil – Business Korea
Steven Russolillo & Eun-Young Jeong – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
OKCoin is planning to launch a bitcoin exchange in South Korea as soon as next month, a move that comes as the country’s government is considering whether to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges altogether.
DNT: The cryptoverse is expanding and this is a natural thing that will continue, despite the official resistance.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Opera, which already introduced cryptocurrency miner protection in its desktop-based versions, is now putting the same feature into its smartphone browsers.
DNT: Useful. This is an example to be followed by others!
Via CNBC – Coinbase hires Twitter Exec Tina Bhatnagar, who oversaw user services, to improve customer support.
FAO: Coinbase makes a major move with this hiring!
Paul Clarke – Financial News
Michael Wong, who was a senior portfolio manager and head of fixed income asset allocation at BlackRock, and fixed income specialist Adam Grimsley have launched Prime Factor Capital alongside Nic Niedermowwe, the Oxford PhD who moved into cryptocurrencies at the beginning of 2017.
Lucy Burton – The Telegraph
The Bitcoin boom is set to boost hiring in the City this year as financial companies race to stay ahead of the game in developing Blockchain technology, a leading headhunter has predicted.
Zheping Huang – Quartz
Cynthia Kim – Reuters
South Korea will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading from Jan. 30, regulators said on in a widely telegraphed move designed to stop virtual coins from being used for money laundering and other crimes.
FAO: And the markets reacted quite aggressively in the last 24h.
Joe Easton – Bloomberg (subscription)
Almost three months after British IT investment firm On-Line Plc saw its shares rocket after adding the word blockchain to its name, the strategy is still paying off for imitators.
FAO: And regulators were expected to react, and they did, in some places…read below…
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg (subscription)
Companies looking to ride the cryptocurrency wave are drawing a stern warning from the top U.S. securities regulator: You better do more than change your name.
FAO: The mysterious ways of the blockchain…
Tim Boreham – The Australian (subscription)
Just as the listed bitcoin sector emerged from the depths of the cyber haze at the end of last year, 2018 is shaping up as the year of the blockchain — the underlying technology supporting cryptocurrencies.
Tanzeel Akhtar – The Local
When it comes to spending the digital currency Bitcoin, it seems Berliners have been on trend longer than the rest of Europe. Nowadays people can buy an apartment, book holidays, eat and drink in a number of trendy bars and even pay for further education using the controversial cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
DNT: Looks like Berlin is a pretty cool place for BTC fans who want to have some fun or even invest in real estate. Thumbs up for that!
Simon Golstein – Finance Magnates
Waves has announced a budget of one million Waves tokens (approximately $9 million) for the first group of startups making use of its new incubator, Waves Lab.
Michael J Casey – CoinDesk
Mark Zuckerberg, worth $71 billion at just 33, has done rather well by Facebook’s centrally managed system. Over the past decade and a half, the social media behemoth’s closed-source algorithm has quietly manipulated its millions of users’ news feeds to capture maximum ad dollars and steer them all to Zuck and his shareholders. So, why is he exploring a more decentralized model? And what role might crypto technology play in that?
Wendy Connick – The Motley Fool
If you want to join in the bitcoin frenzy without simply buying the digital currency at today’s inflated prices, then bitcoin mining is another way to get involved. However, mining bitcoins does come with expenses — and risks — of its own. And the more popular bitcoins become, the harder it is to mine them profitably.
DNT: Really important question..so send us some feedback. Can you make money mining BTC?
Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider
A recent soybean shipment from the US to China has become “the first full agricultural commodity transaction using a blockchain platform,” according to a consortium of banks and trading businesses involved.
Elaine Ou – Bloomberg
Critics of Bitcoin often argue that it’s useless as a means of payment, one of the key elements of any successful currency. That’s not quite right, and likely to become less so.
DNT: It’s true. But it can be for everyone. Just ask the cool people of Berlin!
Richard Holden and Anup Malani – The New York Times
The bigger concern about cryptocurrencies may be the damage they could do, in the long run, to government finances through lost tax revenue.
DNT: Quod Erat Demonstrandum!!!
FAO: Could we say that governments are experiencing their own kind of “Fear of missing out” (FoMO)…
Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi – Reuters
One of the top lawyers in the booming cryptocurrency industry says the legal structure he helped set up to raise funds for new virtual currencies is “old, inflexible and stupid” and may no longer be fit for purpose.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News