by Florin Oprea
Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg (subscription)
The U.S.’s main commodities regulator told its employees that they are allowed to invest in cryptocurrencies, a determination that came weeks after the agency began overseeing Bitcoin futures. Under the CFTC’s ethics guidance, workers can trade digital tokens as long as they don’t buy them on margin or have inside information gleaned from their jobs. Investing in the Bitcoin futures that the CFTC polices, however, is barred.
FAO: So it’s no hedging for CFTC staff trading cryptos.
During Starbucks’ January earnings call, executive chairman Howard Schultz warned that bitcoin would not be the currency of the future, instead suggesting that some other trusted, legitimate digital currency off of the blockchain technology could take its place.
FAO:…but at least they will be able to use coins to buy coffee. Maybe the Robotic Coffeebar 2.0 (more about the robot barista in today’s FinTech Daily News) will scan their QR codes in the future.
Kelly J. O’Brien – Boston Business Journal
The key news out of the crypto world isn’t that bitcoin re-slouched over the $10,000 mark. Rather, it’s that M&A in the crypto sector just put some points on the board. Circle has bought the Poloniex exchange.
DNT: Check also our previous edition where we reported this deal.
FAO: And also check my yesterday’s comments – more deals are coming in the “cryptoverse”.
Anca Alexe – Business Review
The lack of a rigorous evaluation and a process of due diligence done by potential investors are generating extreme volatility on the ICO market, according to a new study by EY.
Ingrid Lunden – TechCrunch
The company is planning a new cryptocurrency called Rakuten Coin — built on blockchain technology and the company’s existing loyalty program, Rakuten Super Points — which it plans to use to encourage loyalty services globally and to help customers to buy goods across different Rakuten services and markets.
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
The Republic of the Marshall Islands plans to release its own cryptocurrency to serve as an official legal tender, according to two government officials. (Ed. note: Kenneth Kedi, a senator and the body’s speaker & David Paul – minister-in-assistance to the president). Members of parliament voted to proceed with the plan, Kenneth Kedi, a senator and the body’s speaker, said. A council still has several days to object, a move he said is unlikely.
FAO: Time update our list of countries that have already issued national cryptocurrencies or have plans in this direction:
Ecuador, Tunisia and Senegal – have already issued their own
Venezuela – ICO running
China, Russia, Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Israel, Dubai, Sweden, Iran, Turkey, Marshall Islands (new entry) – in plan/under development
The Japan Times
Arnab Shome – Finance Magnates
Coincheck is considering a capital tie-up to regain the trust of the investors, reported the Japanese news agency Jiji Press.
FAO: More and more details about the hack of the century are steadily emerging. Hmm, Finance Magnates states “The reputation of the exchange is at stake” – sorry but I don’t really think it has a reputation anymore. It disappeared the same day the hacked NEMs left the wallets.
The Next Web
A group of cryptocurrency holders took to Reddit to complain they are yet to be compensated for purchases they never made – some for as much as 50 times the value of the intended purchase.
Reuben Jackson – Bitcoin Magazine
Regardless of the reasons for their backing, millennials are indisputably crucial to the survival of blockchains.
FAO: Oh goodie, an article about myself too…
China is opening a new front in its battle against cryptocurrencies, targeting platforms that allow the nation’s investors to trade digital assets on overseas exchanges, people familiar with the matter said.
FAO: Question: are you still affected by this kind of rumours/information emerging from China? Newsflash! Cryptocurrencies/digital assets/tokens/coins will continue to exist, and people will continue to trade them vs. fiat or vs. other assets. We have seen South Korea changing its tactics in addressing this phenomenon, we have seen Japan enforcing its position as a leader of the “cryptoverse”, and we have seen that efforts are being made everywhere in the world in order to regulate this space (US, EU, South Korea etc. etc.). This can no longer be stopped! China’s leaders should be aware of the risks involved if they adopt such measures.
Howard Davies – The Guardian
Love them or hate them it seems cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are too big to ignore.
FAO: Well said.
Catherine Shu – TechCrunch
JD.com is launching a new Beijing-based accelerator program for artificial intelligence and blockchain startups.
FAO: If you want me as a speaker at your event send me an email here.
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Ripple is the largest holder of XRP. Some investors are betting banks will use XRP to move money around, making the token more valuable. It climbed more than 2,000% from September to its peak in January, before falling about 58% this year.
Jen Wieczner – Fortune
Stan Higgins – CoinDesk
Goldman Sachs has cited its connection to cryptocurrencies and blockchain as a potential business risk, public records show. In a way, the disclosure echoes one published last week by Bank of America, which warned at the time that it faces both competitive and compliance risks as a result of the technology.
FAO: Good! They have finally started to admit the obvious!
Kyle Torpey – Forbes
Lucinda Shen – Fortune
In previous media interviews, Gates has been quoted saying that Bitcoin is “better than currency,” and that it “is exciting because it shows how cheap (transactions) can be.” That was back in 2014.
FAO: Here comes Bill, again…
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News