Matt Robinson & Christie Smythe – Bloomberg (subscription)
Two founders of an ICO that was promoted by boxer Floyd Mayweather were criminally charged by the U.S. with raising more than $25 million for a planned digital currency without registering the offering. Sohrab “Sam”Sharma, 26, and Robert Farkas, 31, co-founded Centra Tech with plans to sell a digital token that didn’t comply with federal securities laws, according to the SEC and Justice Department.
FAO: Here’s a KO they didn’t anticipate…
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Japanese online broker Monex Group said it is considering buying Coincheck the local cryptocurrency exchange hit by a high-profile $530 million theft earlier this year. The company did not provide any details but the Nikkei daily said the deal could be worth “several billion yen” and an announcement was likely this week.
FAO: Let me CHECK: several tens of millions of US dollars for an exchange that made the international headlines for being the victim of the biggest crypto heist of the century…hmmm.
Annaliese Milano – CoinDesk
Bitpay has successfully raised $40 million in a Series B round with participation by venture capital firms Menlo Ventures and Aquiline Technology Growth. Bitpay, which processes bitcoin and bitcoin cash payments for merchants, announced that it had launched a $30 million Series B funding round last December, but decided to expand the round before it had concluded.
FAO: Using classic VC funding model to develop in the “cryptoverse” – surely not the only crypto company choosing this path these days.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Japan-based social messaging platform Line is launching a blockchain subsidiary mere months after it announced its Line Pay service would offer cryptocurrencies, the company announced. Called Unblock, the subsidiary company will be based in South Korea and will research blockchain technology and its potential applications.
FAO: Global social messaging apps are building on their huge customer bases to profit from the biggest investor craze in the history. Here are a few other examples: Telegram (do you know them?), Kik Interactive, Kakao etc. Use our FREE ARCHIVE for more details regarding their plans.
Have an interesting project/company looking for more visibility? Why don’t you send us more details, and after our review your project might get listed it in this section! Contact us HERE!
Winni Zhou & Andrew Galbraith – Reuters
When China closed its local cryptocurrency exchanges late last year, an underground ecosystem of bitcoin “mules” and P2P platforms sprung up to allow bitcoin trading to thrive, away from regulators’ watchful eyes.
FAO: Will China try to shut down Skype too? Read below…
Anna Irrera & Jemima Kelly – Reuters
Trading firms are negotiating buying, selling and lending digital currencies like bitcoin and ether over Skype, catering to big investors looking to avoid rocking already volatile online
Some 20 traders as well as clients such as wealthy investors, bitcoin miners, payment processors and, increasingly, hedge funds, have in around five years spawned an over-the-counter market moving hundreds of millions of dollars of cryptocurrencies daily, mostly via online messaging, participants said.
FAO: A new trading environment is born – over-the-skype markets…
Josh Constine – TechCrunch
Robinhood is rolling out its Coinbase-killer that’s already helped the fintech startup’s valuation grow 4X in a year. Zero-fee trading of Bitcoin and Ethereum is now available to all investors in California, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Montana.
Jonathan Stempel – Reuters
Alibaba Group sued a Dubai-based firm it said has caused confusion by using its trademarked name to raise more than $3.5 million in cryptocurrency known as “Alibabacoins.”
DNT: According to the story, Alibaba said in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, that Alibabacoin Foundation’s “prominent, repeated, and intentionally misleading” use of its trademarks is designed to confuse consumers to think its products are affiliated with or endorsed by the Chinese online retailer.
FAO: Do you know the folk tale “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”? It is one of the most familiar of the “Arabian Nights” tales…
Jay Derenthal – Bitcoin Magazine
Options for borrowing and lending with cryptocurrencies are on the rise. One of the latest start-ups to join the likes of SALT and Unchained Capital is BlockFi, a New York City–based startup that issues loans backed by bitcoin and ether to individuals, companies and institutions in 35 U.S. states.
Annaliese Milano – CoinDesk
The South Korean city of Seoul is developing its own cryptocurrency – the “S-Coin” – to be used in city-funded social benefits programs, said its mayor, Park Won-soon. He also revealed that the city will create a fund to support the advancement of blockchain technology and related startups.
Jeff Patterson – Finance Magnates
Aaron Hankin – TechCrunch
Ethereum, the open-sourced smart contract, has become the blockchain of choice for ICOs software developers and programmers. Yet in spite of the growing popularity, Ether, the coin on the Ethereum network, significantly underperformed its counterparts during the latter part of a first-quarter selloff across all cryptocurrencies.
FAO: You know what they say: “No pain, no game”.
Annaliese Milano – MarketWatch
Google has banned cryptocurrency mining browser extensions from the Chrome store.
The U.S. tech giant announced its decision and said that in July it will start removing existing browser extensions that facilitate mining. Other blockchain-related extensions are still allowed. Google previously permitted Chrome mining extensions as long as they were solely dedicated to mining and explicitly informed users of their purpose. But that policy wasn’t enough to deter or keep out noncompliant add-ons.
Via Reuters – Blockchain executive Amber Baldet to leave JPMorgan
DNT: After Amber Baldet helped the bank set its strategy for the blockchain technology, now she is leaving to launch her own venture, the story informs.
FAO: We will watch her further moves very closely.
Via TechCrunch – Publishing blockchain startup, Po.et hires VP of engineering
DNT: Is anyone interested around here?
Becky Peterson – Business Insider
Sam Sharma and Robert Farkas, Two Miami-based founders behind the controversial cryptocurrency startup Centra, are facing federal criminal and civil charges related to the company’s $32 million ICO.
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
The reckoning is starting for crypto hedge funds.
Demand and profits are drying up at many of the more than 150 funds that popped during last year’s spectacular surge in Bitcoin — which brought cryptocurrencies to the attention of scores of institutional and individual investors. This year’s 50% plunge in the value of Bitcoin has many investors thinking twice. At about $7,000, the currency is at its lowest since November.
FAO: A natural reaction, especially after the latest drop in crypto prices. There were probably a lot of newbies among some of these fund managers too. C’est la vie!
Yuko Takeo – Bloomberg (subscription)
Bitcoin investing is popular in Japan, but the nation has also had several high-profile cryptocurrency heists. Now, the central bank has come up with a rather negative Q&A for those seeking answers on cryptos.
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
The Central Bank of Taiwan is eyeing new rules that would bring bitcoin under the island’s existing anti-money laundering regulations. Central bank governor Yang Chin-long was questioned over how the banking authority would address the current “opacity” in bitcoin trading in the country, as highlighted by the recent price plunge.
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Bitcoin prices rallied above $7,000 after shedding 25% last week, as major U.S. stock markets fell.
FAO: A propos! Better have (yet) another read of our opinion on February 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!
Janine Wolf – Bloomberg (subscription)
Given Bitcoin’s meteoric rise in 2017, and persistent slump this year, it’s easy to wonder just how much the digital currency is really worth.
Luke Kawa – Bloomberg (subscription)
Risk assets are under siege, pushing everything from Chinese stocks to copper to cryptocurrencies to the verge of their last technical line of defense — and beyond.
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Sinochem Energy Technology, a subsidiary of Sinochem Corporation, has successfully used blockchain technology for a shipment of gasoline from China’s Quanzhou to Singapore, said official news agency Xinhua.
William Suberg – Cointelegraph
South Korean authorities have arrested 14 operators allegedly involved in illegally subsidized Bitcoin mining, local media outlet Yonhap reported.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News