by Florin Oprea
Shelly Hagan – Bloomberg (subscription)
World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, compared cryptocurrencies to “Ponzi schemes,” the latest financial voice to raise questions about the legitimacy of digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
“In terms of using Bitcoin or some of the cryptocurrencies, we are also looking at it, but I’m told the vast majority of cryptocurrencies are basically Ponzi schemes,” the head of the World Bank said. “It’s still not really clear how it’s going to work.”
Berkeley Lovelace Jr. – CNBC
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn told that he has an unfavorable view of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, calling them “ridiculous.”
“I don’t like the cryptocurrencies only because, maybe I don’t understand them,” the chairman of Icahn Enterprises said in “How do you regulate them?”
FAO: Funny fact: my editor, Decebal, forgot to add the source of this story – guess what? I have instinctively added CNBC as the source…
DNT: Maybe you just don’t…At least (compared to others critics), Mr. Icahn admits some circumstances, like lack of understanding.
Matthew Leising – Bloomberg (subscription)
Twitter temporarily suspended an account that’s been one of the loudest critics of digital currency exchange Bitfinex and its related cryptocurrency Tether. The author, known only as @Bitfinexed, declines to identify himself, saying he’s worried about his safety.
FAO: An army of bots? My god, I feel like something “will be back” soon…
Annie Massa – Bloomberg (subscription)
Sex-toy entrepreneur Polly Rodriguez is sick of bankers giving her funny looks.
FAO: Ladies and gents – it’s raining money in the “cryptoverse”! – a total of $170m as some of today’s reports say…scroll down to check the projects and figures…
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters
Dfinity, a non-profit organization that wants to develop a more decentralized internet using blockchain, has raised $61 million in funding from U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and hedge fund Polychain Capital, it said.
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Polymath has raised $58.7 million in a token sale, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The token sale, which was open to accredited investors, was filed with the regulator as a private placement, a way for companies to raise capital from a select amount of investors, after the company raised the funds.
BnkToTheFuture has sold more than $30 million in its token pre-sale. Following this success, the public token sale started from February 6th, 2018, where the company has set a minimum purchase threshold of USD 1,000 and a hard cap of USD 3 million.
Singapore Business Review
Bluzelle generated the amount after putting 165 million tokens for sale within 24 hours. It closed its three-day ICO with $19.5 million in fresh funding. Bluzelle’s ICO veered away from FOMO tactics and instead gave buyers 24 hours to purchase the 165 million tokens made available for sale. The 165 million tokens sold is 33% of the 500 million generated by Bluzelle.
FAO: No wonder authorities all over the world are pushing harder on ICO regulation…
Ari Rabinovitch & Tova Cohen – Reuters
Israel’s diamond exchange is turning to digital currencies to inject new life into a marketplace long ruled by cash and backroom handshakes, but it must first persuade traditionally conservative players that the technology can work.
Takahiko Wada – Reuters
Japan’s financial regulator will this week launch on-site checks of several cryptocurrency exchange operators potentially vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and may widen its inspections, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.
FAO: Better safe than sorry, you know how they say…I am sure nobody wants another Coincheck… Speaking of which…
Sotaro Suzuki – Nikkei Asian Review
North Korean hackers likely deployed malware-laced email to steal 58 billion yen ($529 million) worth of cryptocurrency from Japanese exchange service provider Coincheck, according to South Korean intelligence.
Aaron Hankin – MarketWatch
FAO: So Riot Blockchain buys a company that has shifted its business focus from biotech to digital assets last October… that’s about 3 months ago…
Nolan Bauerle & Peter Ryan – CoinDesk
The report covers public blockchains, DLT, consortium chains,ICOs, trading and investments, and regulation.
Allison Lampert – Reuters
At least two Canadian forestry companies are reviewing offers by cryptocurrency miners who want to lease excess mill space in Quebec, a province where electricity prices are among the lowest in North America. Resolute Forest Products and Fortress Global Enterprises said they have received interest from Canadian and foreign cryptominers, although both cautioned their talks are preliminary.
FAO: Don’t know much about Quebec, but I know they have the “Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF)” (Québec Charter of the French Language). Among its mission and powers: “to see to it that French is the normal and everyday language of work, communication, commerce and business in the civil administration and in enterprises (Section 161). So it’s: Parlez-vous francais, mesdames et messieurs mineurs?
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
Chinese payment provider LianLian International is joining RippleNet. The news will see the Hong Kong-based LianLian International adopting Ripple’s xCurrent solution in an effort to bring same-day, cross-border transactions onto a blockchain for its existing customers
Nathan Vardi – Forbes
Crypto Net Worth: $400 million-$500 million.
Silbert’s company is made up of three components: a venture capital arm that has invested in prominent crypto-related businesses like Coinbase and Ripple; speculation on digital currencies and operating businesses like asset management firm Grayscale, which runs the publicly traded Bitcoin Investment Trust; and CoinDesk.
Regulatory authorities in Abu Dhabi are kicking off a programme with a consortium of the region’s banks to develop a shared KYC utility, possibly underpinned by distributed ledger technology.
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
QUOINE announced that it has signed a MOU with the smart contract security startup Quantstamp. With this partnership, QUOINE is looking to enhance the security provided to selected projects conducting ICOs on their platform.
Press release here.
Fintech and cryptocurrency solutions company Tech Bureau announced that Japan’s first online bank is testing blockchain technology integrations using mijin and Hyperledger. Japan Net Bank has initiated a proof-of-concept project to evaluate mijin and Hyperledger for paperless contract administration.
Connie Loizos – TechCrunch
Harbor raised $10 million from an interesting group of investors, including a new venture fund created by serial entrepreneur David Sacks — who also helped incubate Harbor.
Eric Lam – Bloomberg (subscription)
Investors in Bitcoin counting on a rush of fresh money to lift the cryptocurrency’s slumping fortunes may face a new obstacle: disinterest from the mainstream. Global online searches for the term “Bitcoin” have tumbled alongside the price since both peaked in mid-December, according to Google Trends data.
Cory Baird & Kazuaki Nagata – Japan Times
If a massive billboard by Shibuya crossing is a barometer of trends in Japan, then the latest ad for the cryptocurrency exchange DMM Bitcoin, featuring a Japanese celebrity coated in gold, may be a sign of how cryptocurrencies have taken center stage in both the advertising media and the broader national conversation in Japan.
Vera Eckert – Reuters
Austrian utility Wien Energie, fresh from experimenting with blockchain applications in commodity trading, plans to market end-customer products soon in a new central Viennese urban development.
FAO: Another energy company in Europe wants to use blockchain. Use our FREE ARCHIVE to find others too.
Alasdair Pal – Reuters
If you want a quick boost to your company’s share price, adding “blockchain” to your name will work – at least for a while.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News