by Florin Oprea
Yuji Nakamura – Bloomberg (subscription)
Cryptocurrencies slumped after one of the largest Bitcoin exchanges in Japan halted client withdrawals.
Telegram channel: “Current market update: There is a rumour that Coincheck, a Japanese exchange has been hacked, and 560M worth of XEM has been moved out. We are still verifying. This may be the reason for the current dump.” “Coincheck already stopped all jpy withdraw, nem in out buy sell”.
FAO: No other updates found at time of writing. If this is true then it will be, by far, the biggest heist in the “cryptoverse”, and probably in the history. Coincheck does not have a license from Japan’s financial regulator.
John McCrank – Reuters
Trading Technologies said it has teamed up with crypto-currency exchange operator Coinbase to give institutional traders direct market access to both bitcoin and bitcoin futures beginning in March.
FAO: “Cryptoverse” just received a huge push. Told you it’s a matter of time. Once most of the big US players are “tucked in” nothing/nobody will be able to stop “this train”…
Arjun Kharpal – CNBC
Bitcoin was hammered by top business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, but those in the cryptocurrency world had a message of their own.
FAO: Possible thinking of a Davos attendee: “Since it’s Davos, and bitcoin is “over-hyped”, why not talk about it? CNBC will certainly mention my name…”
Arjun Kharpal – CNBC
Cryptocurrencies are not in “dotcom bubble territory” in terms of market capitalization, venture capitalist Richard Muirhead, a general partner at Fabric Ventures, said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Chloe Cornish & Richard Waters – Financial Times (subscription)
Mike Orcutt – Technology Review
In planning a $2 billion ICO that’s meant to launch this month, messaging service Telegram isn’t just looking for a quick boost in value. If the dollar amount weren’t enough to get your attention, consider the ambition behind it: Telegram is promising investors who buy into its home-grown cryptocurrency that it will solve some of the blockchain world’s thorniest problems.
FAO: …but, according to experts mentioned in the above article, Telegram’s white paper doesn’t explain how it plans to solve these problems…That’s probably a minor aspect for VC firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark and Sequoia Capital, which have announced their intention to invest $20m, each.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Digital money platform Uphold announced it has received a $57.5 million investment from former Fed Reserve senior analyst and Ripple chief risk officer Greg Kidd. Kidd, who will join Uphold’s board of directors, will also help fund the creation of a research and development arm, to be called Uphold Labs, through his investment vehicle Hard Yaka. Kidd has previously invested in Coinbase, Square and Twitter.
FAO: Catchy name and interesting investors…let’s see what the future holds for Uphold.
Matthew Leising & Edward Robinson – Bloomberg (subscription)
Ari Levy – CNBC
Ripple sold $91.6 million worth of digital currency XRP in Q4, taking advantage of last year’s 29,631% price surge. Trading volume in the quarter jumped more than 35,000% to an average of over $807 million a day from $2.28 million in the same period a year earlier, Ripple said.
FAO: Better cash something in, you never know…
Kyle Torpey – Bitcoin Magazine
Evelyn Cheng – CNBC
Weiss Ratings, which claims to offer the first “ratings” on cryptocurrencies, has judged ethereum to be better than bitcoin.The securities ratings agency announced that it gave ethereum a B rating because it “benefits from more readily upgradable technology and better speed, despite some bottlenecks.”
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg (subscription)
Anna Irrera – Reuters
Online brokerage startup Robinhood plans to launch commission-free cryptocurrency trading, the company said riding a wave of interest from retail investors for the new asset class.
FAO: Yeah, remember this saying “All that glitters is not gold”.
David Ricketts – Financial News (subscription)
State Street is considering safeguarding clients’ digital assets in a move that would see it become the first major global bank to provide services for bitcoin-related investments.
FAO: What did I say earlier about big US players getting “ tucked in”? Well, there you go…
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
Just a week after the abrupt closure of BitConnect’s lending and exchange platform, investors are seeking legal action to claim back their funds, according to public document.
Brady Dale – CoinDesk
“We look at ethereum like AOL or Myspace.”That’s how Mobius Network co-founder and CEO David Gobaud explains why his startup ran its ICO on the Stellar network instead of ethereum, the most popular blockchain for token sales.
Ben Grubb – The Sydney Morning Herald
Jackson Palmer: “So I made the joke and it was me taking the piss out of really scammy cryptocurrency back then. But then it quickly turned into a legitimate thing … and at that point, I was like, ‘Oh my god, now I feel responsible for this joke’. I feel responsible for this economy.”
FAO: A joke that got pretty serious.
Daniel Roberts – Yahoo Finance
BofA CEO Brian Moynihan was asked for his thoughts on bitcoin. He immediately turned to blockchain: “We have more patents, I think, than almost anybody in blockchain,” Moynihan said. “We believe in the idea of distributed ledgers, and smart contracts, and all the words you hear about that. We are developing stuff… “
“We are reviewing (taxation) because (cryptocurrency) is seen to be taxable,” Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon told lawmakers. “We are looking at a variety of cases in other countries.”
DNT: Guess “cryptocurrency is seen to be taxable” it’s a phrase that’s on the lips of a lot policymakers around the world!!
FAO: I think we can see (at least) three Levels currently in the government-“cryptoverse” relation: Level 1. admit it exists, Level 2. regulate it, Level 3.tax it! Korea hit Level 2.
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Britain should take a serious look at cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin because of the way they can be used by criminals, Prime Minister Theresa May said.
FAO: May hit Level 1.
Even though the Indian government has time and again advised investors to stay away from the rising digital currency craze, a nationwide survey shows more than $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency transactions have been conducted over the last 17 months.
FAO: India – Level 1, working hard on reaching Level 2.
Ralph Atkins – Financial Times (subscription)
In other countries, politicians express concern about the cryptocurrency craze, citing worries about security, regulation, volatility and a speculative bubble. Not in Switzerland. The affluent Alpine country wanted “to be the crypto-nation”, Johann Schneider-Ammann, economics minister said. Of the 10 biggest proposed ICOs, four have used Switzerland as a base, according to PwC.
Andy Greenberg – Wired
If you weren’t particularly careful in how you spent your cryptocurrency, the evidence of that drug deal may still be hanging around in plain view of law enforcement, even years after the Silk Road was torn off the dark web.
Jon Buck – The Cointelegraph
Brisbane Airport will soon become the first cryptocurrency airport terminal, according to reports from local media. The airport is working with local and international companies to make the entire terminal cryptocurrency friendly, with stores, coffee shops and restaurants accepting Bitcoin, Ether and Dash.
Lionel Laurent – Bloomberg (subscription)
Did you know it was London Blockchain Week? It has felt like an ultra-compressed Gartner Hype Cycle — the famous curve that shows all tech goes through wildly overblown optimism and then equally exaggerated despondency before hitting a normal path.
Graham Rapier – Business Insider
Tim Hockey, CEO of the $1.2 trillion online brokerage giant, TD Ameritrade, explained why he and his firm were cautious about cryptocurrencies, despite intense interest from seemingly every type of investor.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News