by Florin Oprea
Yolanda Redrup – Australian Financial Review
Cryptocurrency punters are now able to buy bitcoin and ethereum from 1200 newsagents across the country with nothing more than a digital wallet, $50, an email address and a phone number. The move makes it easier for people interested in investing a small amount of money in cryptocurrencies to purchase bitcoin or ethereum, without needing to navigate the process of doing it online.
DNT: Cool. Very good feature.
FAO: Interesting initiative and strategy to reach retail clients, but in a world of online business selling cryptos in newsagencies would not be my first choice to market myself. Btw according to Wikipedia the number of newsagencies in Australia has fallen dramatically in recent years, from 4,635 in 2007/8 to 3,150 in 2016/7 and this decline is expected to continue. So people are reading less paper and more online content.
Eric Lam – Bloomberg (subscription)
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
In a report exploring cryptocurrency, analysts at Boston-based Wellington Management said the company upgraded its systems to trade bitcoin futures and has teams looking into how it could include “cryptoassets” into portfolios.
FAO: Aha! You might find some of previous comments relevant now. Like yesterday – when commenting on Aaron Brown’s article “Bitcoin Enters Awkward Adolescence”, in Bloomberg, I said: “Regulation is being pushed in the US, EU and other mature financial markets. Having a clear regulatory framework will be the inception of financial markets adopting “cryptoverse” on a large scale.”
Oh, you should expect more asset managers joining the “cryptoverse”. Competition will force them to do it. Let’s see, according to Autonomous Next, in Feb. 15 2018 there were 226 crypto-focussed hedge funds, up from 110 funds as of Oct. 18 2017, 55 funds at Aug. 29 2017 and just 37 at the start of 2017.
I suggest you also read our opinion on recent market volatility and what this could mean for the future of the “cryptoverse”. We first published it on Linkedin Pulse on Feb 13th, and now you can read it on Global Association of Risk Professionals’ website!
Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters
The U.S. SEC is investigating Overstock.com sale of cryptocurrency to investors, the online retailer said in a filing, sending it shares lower by as much as 10%.
Nat Levy – Geekwire
A new venture fund is looking to invest a cryptocurrency equivalent of more than $190 million in blockchain apps and startups, with a greater mission of making the Seattle area a hub for the emerging technology. The fund comes from an alliance between investment group Reflective Venture Partners and blockchain company RChain Cooperative.
Robert Hackett – Fortune
Garrett Camp has been sketching out plans for a brand new cryptocurrency that aims to fix technical and other challenges plaguing existing projects, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. His hope, he told Fortune, is to resuscitate virtual currency’s original promise: an instant, affordable, and borderless means of payment for the masses.
FAO: Better put this on the growing list of future hot cryptocurrencies, together with Telegram, Overstock, Kodak, Kik (Facebook maybe?). Guess what coin will you use when riding and Uber? Just saying…
The Marshall Islands, a small island nation in the western Pacific Ocean, plans to make big waves in the cryptocurrency world. Its parliament authorized the government to create its own cryptocurrency – the sovereign – to serve as an official legal tender. A minister-in-assistance to President Hilda Heine said that the ICO for the sovereign could be ready by the end of the year, adding that the cryptocurrency would help boost local budgets.
DNT: More details about Marshall Islands’ plans to release its own cryptocurrency here, Cryptocurrencies section.
Victor Golovtchenko – Finance Magnates
In a letter to Japanese clients, Kraken has communicated that it is undertaking some bank account changes. Citing “a variety of circumstances”, the company is closing its SWIFT bank accounts in USD, EUR, and GBP. In addition, JPY funding accounts at Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui are to cease accepting funds.
Frederic Tomesco – The Star
For Hydro-Quebec, the bitcoin boom may be too much of a good thing. Canada’s biggest electric utility has been inundated with requests to supply electricity to cryptocurrency miners eager to set up shop in Quebec — more than it can deliver.
DNT: According to Hydro-Quebec CEO, Eric Martel, the company “received hundreds of applications” in the past few weeks, which “would need more than 9,000 megawatts of energy — about one-quarter of the utility’s total generating capacity of 37,000 megawatts”. Just an OMG is enough!
FAO: Tell you what, they have a lot of cheap sources of hydro power in plenty of places throughout Eastern Europe too, and you don’t need to speak Francais…
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider (subscription)
A slew of crypto exchanges are looking to hire, with Coinbase, Kraken, and Circle preparing to double their head count in 2018. Between them, they’re looking to add around 1,250 staff. “There is a significant shortage of people who have expertise and acumen in this space,” said Mike Poutre, the chief executive of The Crypto Company.
FAO: That’s the equivalent of a small factory. I think the “cryptoverse” participants should start thinking of a way to join efforts to educate people and train professionals if they want to avoid a crisis here.
Katy Steinmetz – Time
Jason Klein, a small business owner who lives in Nixa, Mo., is talking about bitcoin, a sensational invention that recently turned his life upside down. His story — involving undercover federal agents, courtroom drama and a community’s outpouring of support — is one he hasn’t shared until now. The tale highlights how entrancing this new technology can be, as well as the legal confusion surrounding cryptocurrencies like bitcoin: digital tokens that are minted, essentially, by computers doing puzzles.
DNT: This story truly looks like a film scenario…It might be a good idea to make a movie. Do we have some movie producers or screenwriters among our readers?
Motif, introduced a new thematic portfolio that makes it easy for investors to benefit from the evolving blockchain ecosystem. The portfolio, created in response to client interest, is designed to track companies utilizing blockchain technology.
Takahiko Wada & Thomas Wilson – Reuters
Japan’s 16 government-registered cryptocurrency exchanges will set up a self-regulatory body to bolster trust in an industry rocked by a $530 million digital money heist in January. The body will later invite other cryptocurrency exchanges whose applications for registration with the government are pending, as well as those that plan to register in the future.
FAO: So it’s settled. They finally reached a conclusion – read previous reports on this topic by using our FREE ARCHIVE.
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Mexico’s lower house of Congress approved a bill to regulate the fast-growing fintech sector, including crowdfunding and cryptocurrency firms, putting it among a small group of countries to establish regulation for the industry. The bill, which seeks to promote financial stability and prevent money laundering, was approved by Mexico’s Senate in December and now awaits President Enrique Pena Nieto’s signature.
FAO: Mexico, population 123m, at least, is close regulating the “cryptoverse”. They moved quite fast, while their northern neighbours are still just “chatting” about it…. Go #cryptoregulation!
Stephen Gandel – Bloomberg (subscription)
ICOs need tougher scrutiny, but so do Reg A+ stock offerings.
Mike Orcutt – Technology Review
Blockchain-powered computer programs promise to revolutionize the digital economy, but new research suggests they’re far from secure.
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Square has identified another business risk for publicly traded companies that deal in cryptocurrencies: unclear accounting rules.
Idalia Friedson – National Review
There has been a lot of hype concerning Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies of late. But it is blockchain, the electronic architecture on which cryptocurrencies run, that is the truly revolutionary technology.
The dirty little secret, though, is that the technology could be rendered useless by a quantum computer hack.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News