Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
The U.S. Marshals Service will auction off 2,170 bitcoins valued at about $25 million that were seized in connection with federal, criminal and civil cases.
FAO: Guess who’s back? The Marshals are back!! This comes after a previous report (in January) of a sealed bid auction for approximately 3,813 Bitcoins.
Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)
Jen Wieczner – Fortune
Coinbase has poached a top dealmaker from LinkedIn as it seeks to make bigger acquisitions, a move that could spark consolidation in the cryptocurrency industry. Emilie Choi started as Coinbase’s vice president of corporate and business development, the company said.
FAO: Consolidation, the only way for its current exchange players to survive in much bigger “cryptoverse” in the coming years. When global financial groups are already starting to make acquisitions in this space or to announce plans for a dedicated activity, it’s quite easy to imagine how things will look in the near future. Coinbase is one of the oldest exchanges in the relatively young “cryptoverse” and it has become a victim of its own success (just read today’s Exchanges section). It needs to act fast if it wants to keep its place in the top. The Circle-Poloniex deal (reported here) might have been the trigger of a fast consolidation process in this universe.
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
SBI Holdings has added a cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker to its existing portfolio of cryptocurrency businesses. In an announcement the financial giant said it has purchased a 40% stake in CoolBitX, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of “cold” wallets – hardware devices used to store private keys to cryptocurrency assets in an offline environment.
FAO: Quite useful to have something like this in your portfolio if you plan to launch crypto services in the coming years, right? A good deal: buy low, sell high? Imagine a place where all big banks would want to crypto-service their clients.
Ian Allison – International Business Times
Blockstack partners with Republic to offer seven figure token pre-sale to non-accredited investors.
Jon Russell – TechCrunch
Kakao, the Korean internet firm that operates the country’s largest messaging app, is moving deeper into crypto after it revealed plans to launch a blockchain focused business unit. A Kakao representative confirmed the plans and that the company has hired Han Jaesun, CTO of gaming startup FuturePlay, to head up the business.
FAO: Amazing! Market structure of the future is built under our eyes. Looks like Kakao is planning an ICO market, after last September announced its plans to launch the largest cryptocurrency exchange in Korea. In October affiliate company Dunamu already started to provide an open beta service – “Upbit”.
Messaging apps are taking advantage of their strong customer bases and launch projects in the “cryptoverse” – use our FREE ARCHIVE for more details regarding such plans announced by Japan’s Line, Telegram or Kik…
Fitz Tepper – TechCrunch
What would it look like if the majority of newly issued ERC-20 tokens were used for good, instead of scammy ICO evil? One Y Combinator-backed startup that thinks they have an answer to this question. Meet Hexel, a startup that wants to make it easy for anyone to use Ethereum-based tokens to engage their hyperlocal community.
Peter Blumberg – Bloomberg (subscription)
John Detrixhe – Quartz
Grievances are stacking up: The number of complaints about Coinbase jumped more than 100% in January, to 889, according to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data. More than 400 complaints were categorized as “money was not available when promised,” a fairly fundamental issue for any financial account.
FAO: Well yeah BUT we’re talking about a cryptocurrency exchange that added 7.8m accounts from January to end of November 2017, from 5.5m to 13.3m. I think any kind of business would suffer if placed in the same growth scenario.
Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)
Digital-asset exchanges are emerging as one of the biggest winners of the cryptocurrency boom.
FAO: See why the increased interest from regulatory bodies, central bankers, financial groups, messaging apps?
Though initially there were concerns that Russian Bitcoin enthusiasts would be barred from trading on Bittrex in the foreseeable future, the most recent report on the subject seem to have slightly eased on this speculation.
Komfie Manalo – Cryptovest
Two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in India are halting operations amid mounting regulatory pressure. Tokens marketplace BTCXIndia and affiliated Ethereum trading platform ETHEXIndia have announced decisions to cease their activities, according to the India Times.
Kate Rooney & Evelyn Chang – CNBC
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Coinbase is pushing back against rumors it may soon add Ripple’s XRP token to its existing trading pairs.The speculation originated after it was revealed that Coinbase COO and president Asiff Hirji would appear alongside Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse on a special episode of CNBC’s “Fast Money” program today. And despite any hard evidence of the presumed listing, the price of XRP rose to over $1 on Monday on the news.
Nicola Smith – The Telegraph
Cambodia is considering the development of its own national cryptocurrency after being inspired by the launch of the Venezuelan Petro. The Cambodian crypto project would be named Entapay, and is expected to be proposed at a blockchain summit of Southeast Asian nations in its capital, Phnom Penh, which will be attended by the country’s deputy prime minister, Men Sam An.
DNT: Take a tour of our FREE ARCHIVE. We had a lot of stories regarding Venezuelan Petro last month.
FAO: Time for another update of our list of countries that have already issued national cryptocurrencies or have plans in this direction:
Chris Martin – Bloomberg (subscription)
Investors poured $300 million since the start of the third quarter into applications that will let people buy and sell energy with cryptocurrencies, according to GTM Research.
Half that amount came just in January, and there are now 122 companies developing products or services for the energy industry.
Annaliese Milano – CoinDesk
Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission has moved to suspend the offer of securities related to a local bitcoin mining operation. In a statement, the securities regulator declared that the offering for HashBrasil being pitched to investors was not authorized, identifying how the solicitations were playing out across social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.
Kate Rooney & Dan Mangan – CNBC
Jon Montroll, 37, was accused in a civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission of running his cryptocurrency site BitFunder as an “unregistered securities exchange” and of defrauding users.
FAO: Check here some initial reports regarding his arrest and charges.
Jeffrey Kutler – GARP
Although only tenuously linked to mainstream finance, the virtual currency ecosystem should be held to high regulatory standards, says FSB chair Mark Carney.
FAO: Here’s the latest article signed by our reader, contributor and friend, Jeff Kutler, Editor in Chief, Global Association of Risk Professionals. Jeff gives precious insight on the latest remarks of Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England and chair of the Financial Stability Board – our leading story yesterday. You might want to check my yesterday’s comments once again and our previous joint article 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 you can also read it on Global Association of Risk Professionals’ website!
Josh Horwitz – Quartz
Thousands of China’s elites are currently gathered in Beijing for the “two sessions,” the annual meetings for members the National People’s Congress (or NPC, China’s rubber-stamp legislative branch) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (or CPPCC, a non-legislative advisory body).
Anatol Antonovici – Cryptovest
Daimler, the German car manufacturer famous for its Mercedes-Benz brand, introduced the MobiCOIN project at the Mobile World Congress 2018 held in Barcelona, Spain. Currently in its experimental stage, the project revolves around a digital currency meant to reward drivers who abide by eco-driving principles.
FAO: Another German automaker makes the blockchain headlines, after Porsche yesterday. Daimler’s project sounds quite interesting though…
Tanzeel Akhtar – CoinDesk
Often, when a cryptocurrency tanks, holders of a rival coin will tease them with “SFYL” – sorry for your loss. But the entire industry needs to keep an eye on Tether’s USDT token, because if something were to happen to it, the result could be everyone’s loss.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News