Blockchain Daily News – Edition 145, 08.02.2018
February 8, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 147, 12.02.2018
February 12, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 146, 09.02.2018

Blockchain Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition 146, 09.02.2018

Fans’ Section

Cryptocurrencies Are Rising Despite The World Bank President Calling The Market A Ponzi Scheme

Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider

After getting hosed earlier in the week, all major cryptocurrencies are solidly in the green.

FAO: This means investors just stopped keeping track of what every bank leader in the world has to say about cryptos and also stopped reacting on various statements. Remember that yesterday I refused to lose my time and comment on the World Bank President’s remarks. My opinion is that this whole new asset class clearly needs a regulatory framework that protects investors and preserves innovation, and sets of regulation are currently under development in various places around the world. Banning it is a different story – clearly an example not to be followed. Comparing a whole new technology and a new asset class with all the bad things in your “book” can do even more harm than banning it. Why do bank leaders react this way, after all? I guess you can find the answer by yourself, since you are getting my newsletter each day, and actually reading it too.

Virtual Currencies Need Firm Global Regulation: ECB’s Mersch

Marc Jones & Alasdair Pal – Reuters

Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and the banks and financial firms that trade them need to be more closely regulated, ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch said.

FAO: Like I said above, regulating them is one thing, banning them and /or comparing them to Ponzi schemes is a whole different thing…

Winklevoss Twins Say Increased Regulation Is Bullish for Bitcoin

Sarah Ponczek, Kailey Leinz & Tracy Alloway – Bloomberg (subscription)

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, long-term cryptocurrency bulls, don’t fear regulation. They embrace it.

FAO: Yip, we agree with Tyler and Cameron here. This is in fact a major thing. This adds real (“de jure”) legitimacy to a whole new asset class. In case you don’t follow, the “de facto” legitimacy was the launch of bitcoin futures on Cboe and CME.

DNT: Of course, what else can they do? It’s a wise move, as long the regulation will prove useful to create a climate that will allow more safer transactions and a safer environment for the development of cryptos. E-payments and altcoins will have a major role in how businesses and consumers will pay for services.

Winklevoss: If You Can’t See Bitcoin At $320,000, You Just Lack Imagination

Shawn Langlois – MarketWatch

Winklevoss Twins Take Dig At 80-Year-Old Cryptocurrency Critics

Arjun Kharpal – CNBC

The Winklevoss twins take a shot at old people who don’t get bitcoin. Tyler Winklevoss, one half of the famous twins, has hit back at the older generation of financiers who have criticized cryptocurrencies, telling  that they don’t understand the future of money.

DNT: Oh..welcome to the scene of an inevitable conflict between generations at the frontier of finance. Guess they are right.

FAO: Anyhow, we need to respect the elders. We need to learn about the past in order to secure a safe future. Tyler probably got ahead of himself a bit. But let’s get things straight: “the cryptoverse” is here to stay, and having strong opponents, regarding their age, is a proof of how important it grew in the last years…  

Deals & Investments

Why Bitcoin Bust Shouldn’t Worry Launch Of Canada’s First Blockchain ETF

SCMP

But investors should not confuse Bitcoin’s bust with blockchain’s brighter future, analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence said. As a technology, blockchain will evolve with new applications, increased transaction speeds and improved security, they said.

Cryptocurrencies

Criminals May Ditch Bitcoin For Litecoin, Dash, Study Says

Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

It may seem like everyone from Grandma to Goldman Sachs Group has piled into Bitcoin in the past year, but there’s at least one group that’s looking for a way out: Criminals.

Cryptocurrency Swings Keep Investors `In Check,’ Full Tilt Says

Eric Lam – Bloomberg (subscription)

Cryptocurrencies have been on a jolting ride this year. That’s a good thing in an industry that has captivated everyone from mom-and-pop speculators to Wall Street trading firms, according to Full Tilt Capital.

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Binance Refutes Accusations Of Hack With The Power Of Blockchain

Molly Jane Zuckerman – Cointelegraph

Binance has had to continuously refute accusations of a hack since their exchange has unexpectedly gone offline due to server issues.

The time offline was supposed to only last for several hours, but, similarly to the extended Kraken downtime of over two days in January, Binance was back online after two days.

FAO: See why we need regulation? Investors have experienced a lot of frustration these days, I am sure of that. Not bring the FOLE (that’s Fear Of Losing Everything, just invented the term) into discussion…That’s something Coincheck’s users went through…

Japan To Let Coincheck Resume Yen Withdrawals Tuesday: Source

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Japanese regulators will allow cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck to resume yen withdrawals from Tuesday, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Barclays In U.S. Set To Join Cryptocurrency Credit Card Ban: Report

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Barclays s likely to follow other major lenders in the United States in stopping customers from buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with its credit cards, according to an interview with a senior executive at its credit card unit.

Coinbase Bets On Machine Learning To Speed Up Identity Verification

Rachel McIntosh

“In most cases, verification will now take seconds–not hours,” Coinbase wrote in a blog post. The app, which is the largest crypto exchange in the United States in terms of users, announced plans to implement machine learning technology to verify the identities of new users. The blog post also said that an “additional ID verification vendor” is on call for “increased loads during periods of peak demand.”

BitPeople

Forbes’s New List Of Bitcoin Billionaires Is Already Hopelessly Out Of Date

Maya Kosoff – Vanity Fair

There’s just one problem with the list, and it’s directly tied to the problem inherent to the currencies themselves: the market is too volatile to be sustaining, and so are the fortunes of those who have profited from it.

The Crypto Candidate For Congress

Joshua Green – Bloomberg

Political newbie Brian Forde has dazzled marquee crypto investors, who hope he can be the Washington friend they desperately need.

Regulation

‘We’re Watching You,’ Regulator Warns Hong Kong Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Enoch Yiu – SCMP

Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency exchanges have been warned that regulators are watching them closely after investors complained of practices ranging from market manipulation to misappropriation of assets.

DNT: When I was a teenager, I used to watch the Highlander TV Series…Now, in this series, there were some immortal people “some good, some bad” who fought each other…Besides them, there were also the Watchers, “part of the secret society of men and women who observe and record, but never interfere”…:) The regulators remind me of these watchers. Except the part “never interfere”. So this comparison stops here. Oh, by the way, cryptocurrencies are the immortals, if you catch the idea. 🙂

FAO: I know you have that “We’re watching you watching us” movie line in your mind right now…but joking aside, it all started with a warning in some other jurisdictions…This could be a reason why more and more wealthy people from China are looking to Singapore as a refuge…read below.

The Rich Turns To Singapore To Evade China’s Grip On Hong Kong’s Financial Centre

The Independent

Hong Kong’s financial sector is becoming more tangled with mainland China, prompting more and more of China’s rich to turn to Singapore. As a result, Hong Kong is starting to be eclipsed by Singapore as the favorite destination for the wealth of China’s rich and at stake for banks in both cities is a$5.8 trillion bounty. This is what the high-net-worth individuals control in Hong Kong and almost half of it is already offshore, said consulting firm Capgemini SE.

Crypto Investors Face Tax Of Up to 55% in Japan

Yuko Takeo & Maiko Takahashi – Bloomberg (subscription)

Japan’s National Tax Agency Has Caught onto the cryptocurrency mania gripping the world and investors in digital coins are about to pay the price.

FAO: First regulate it, then tax it…

DNT: Guess this answers also to a legitimate question from a few days ago, in a story  that we have covered here (Exchanges & Trading Venues section). The question was Why Is Japan Still In Love With Bitcoin?

Regulators Need To Look Hard At Bitcoin

The Editors – Bloomberg (subscription)

Not a moment too soon, America’s biggest banks have moved to ban their customers from using credit cards to buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Banks and regulators have been slow to guard against the dangers of the Bitcoin phenomenon — and central banks, in particular, need to move more forcefully.

FAO: Bloomberg editors’ opinion. No comment…

Cryptocurrency Insiders Actually Welcome Regulation

Melody Hahm – Yahoo Finance

Crypto insiders are pleased with the overall tone and rhetoric of the SEC and CFTC’s hearing before the Senate banking committee.

“Regulation is going to come for this space, and it just matters that it’s being done in the right way and that regulators are thoughtful about how they enforce regulation,” CoinList co-founder and CEO Andy Bromberg said

Events

US Congress To Hold Blockchain Hearing On Valentine’s Day

Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk   

The U.S. House of Representatives has a date with blockchain this Valentine’s Day. Two subcommittees of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology – for Oversight as well as Research and Technology – are holding a hearing, entitled “Beyond Bitcoin: Emerging Applications for Blockchain Technology,” on Feb. 14 at 10 a.m. EST.

DNT: Nice date for a “date”! Signs of love on the horizon?

Analysis

Bitcoin Becomes Just Like Everything Else On Wall Street As Correlation With Stocks Jumps To 2-Year High

Evelyn Cheng – CNBC

On a 90-day basis, the correlation between the daily percent returns of the cryptocurrency and the S&P 500 is 33%, the highest since the cryptocurrency started gaining public attention in January 2016, according to Nick Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research.

Crypto Cynics Stand To Profit the Most

Noah Smith – Bloomberg

Bubbles look like a uniquely predatory financial phenomenon.

Other news

Inside North Korea’s Hacker Army

Sam Kim – Bloomberg (subscription)

The regime in Pyongyang has sent hundreds of programmers to other countries. Their mission: Make money by any means necessary. Here’s what their lives are like.

FAO: Sad…

Opinion

Bitcoin Reached Its Bottom As Crypto Funds Beat Hedge Funds, Says Digital Currency Investor

Kellie Ell – CNBC

Bitcoin should return to peak levels in the next couple of weeks and will continue growing from there, said digital currency investor Dan Morehead.

 

FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News