Blockchain Daily News – Edition 195, 23.04.2018
April 23, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 197, 25.04.2018
April 25, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 196, 24.04.2018

Fans’ Section

Goldman Sachs Makes First Hire In Cryptocurrency Markets Unit

Evelyn Chang – CNBC

Goldman Sachs enlisted Justin Schmidt, a former trader, to be the first head of digital asset markets in the company’s securities division. Schmidt began his role on April 16.

DNT: Uh, oh, looks like Goldman has serious plans in providing investment opportunities in cryptos for its clients.

FAO: I don’t think they will deny this hire this time. Last year’s rumors said that Goldman was preparing to launch a crypto trading desk (here) but then the company denied it (here). My logic says that if you hire a head of digital asset markets means you plan to trade them too, cos you’re a bank, and banks trade assets, to make profits for their shareholders, who usually like big profits… 🙂

One In Five Big Financial Institutions Are Getting Ready To Trade Crypto

John Detrixhe – Quartz

The burgeoning world of crypto trading mainly exists on the margins of the established financial industry, but that could be changing: around one in five institutional financial firms have plans to start buying and selling digital tokens within the next 12 months, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

FAO: I think these statistics would change significantly if the “cryptoverse” becomes a regulated environment…

Business Moguls Beaten In ‘Bitcoin Bubble’ Debate

Aaron Hankin – Market Watch  

Pitted against two academics, the business tycoons – venture capitalist Tim Draper of Draper Associates and Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock – looked, on paper at least, to be a sure thing in the never-ending bitcoin bubble debate.

FAO: Practicians vs. academics, who won?

Deals & Investments

$125 Million: Orchid Is Raising One Of 2018’s Biggest Token Sales

David Floyd  – CoinDesk

Orchid Labs is raising $125 million in a SAFT sale, filings from the SEC reveal. According to a Form D Orchid has raised roughly $36.1 million out of a planned $125.59 million. Per the Form D filing, 42 investors have taken part in the sale of SAFTs – or Simple Agreements for Future Tokens – thus far.

FAO: Orchid wants to build an alternative to Tor, the anonymous browser software.

Andreessen Horowitz Is Planning To Launch A Dedicated Crypto Fund

Jon Russell – TechCrunch

The SEC may be firing off subpoenas to crypto investment funds and ICO projects left, right and center — apparently over 80 — but that isn’t stopping Andreessen Horowitz, the influential Silicon Valley firm known as A16z, from starting its own crypto-based fund.

FAO: Looking forward to checking any new stats regarding the latest number of crypto funds and their latest trading results.

Future Stars?

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!

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Crypto Exchange Huobi Eyes European Expansion With London Office

Diana Ngo – Coin Journal

Huobi, a cryptocurrency exchange platform originally from China, is looking to expand into the European market with a new office in London to be launched later this year, the company announced.

Cboe Exchange Wants To Lower Its Bitcoin Futures Prices

Nikhilesh De  – CoinDesk

In a newly published letter to the CFTC CBOE Future Exchange MD Matthew McFarland announced a proposed rule amendment that would lower the minimum increment on its futures contracts from 10 points (worth $10) to 5 points (worth $5) sometime on or after May 1.

FAO: Cboe is fine-tuning its bitcoin futures offer, a natural process after a first “test” trading period. I am sure we will hear from CME pretty soon too.

Europe Introduces Customer Verification On Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Lubomir Tassev – CoinDesk

The European Parliament has voted in favor of stricter regulations in the crypto sector. Crypto exchanges and wallet providers will be required to introduce customer due diligence procedures, including identity verification. The platforms will have to apply for registration in order to offer their services. The new measures come with the latest update of the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

FAO: I personally think this is a good measure. This will help “cryptoverse” expand even further, by adding more professional investors and new “healthy” trading volumes.

16 Japan Exchanges Pledge To ‘Restore Confidence’ At Regulatory Group Launch

Wolfie Zhao  – Coindesk

According to the Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun, 16 exchanges that are currently registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency have formally launched a new self-regulatory organization dubbed the Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association.

FAO: After all, people depend on rules to feel safe…

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Rival Accused Of Trying to Artificially Boost Its Price

Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)

Bitcoin Cash is the hottest cryptocurrency around right now for more reasons than you may imagine.

Parity’s Proposal For Unlocking $260 Million Gains Support Of Ethereum Community Majority

Coinfox

Almost 60% of the Ethereum community voted in favor of activation of the EIP999 protocol, which will allow to unblock frozen 513,000 ETH in Parity wallets worth more than $260 million. The voting ends in a day.

Vendors

Messaging Giant Line To Support Dapps On Own Blockchain

Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk    

Line, the Japan-based messaging app provider, is planning to build a custom blockchain aimed to boost development of decentralized apps for its platform. Euivin Park, the firm’s chief technology officer, said she aims to take Line’s existing blockchain efforts a big step forward by launching a blockchain mainnet.

BitPeople

Iceland Bitcoin Heist Mastermind Caught in Amsterdam

Miguel Gomez – Cryptovest

The mastermind behind one of the biggest thefts in Iceland was caught by local police in Amsterdam after fleeing a low-security prison and catching the same flight the Prime Minister was on to Sweden.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Bank Of China Embracing Blockchain Use In Hong Kong

Alice Shen – SCMP

Bank of China Hong Kong now handles almost all its real estate appraisals via blockchain, as part of a concerted push into fintech and smart banking, officials revealed. The lender is processing 85% of its mortgage-related property valuations using its own digital ledger, according to general manager of information technology Rocky Cheng Chung-ngam.

EY Announces Blockchain Audit Technology

PR Newswire

EY Blockchain Analyzer will facilitate EY audit teams review and analysis of transactions on the blockchain.The pilot will lay the foundation for automated audit tests of blockchain assets, liabilities, equity and smart contracts. The technology is built to support testing of multiple cryptocurrencies

Regulation

Ether, Ripple May Be Securities, Former CFTC Head Gary Gensler, Says

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

Gary Gensler said that Ether and Ripple could probably be classified as securities, subjecting them to greater regulatory scrutiny.

FAO: As reported yesterday, Gary Gensler is the latest financial markets VIP showing up in the “cryptoverse”. The former head of CFTC writes and teaches at MIT about how blockchain can change the world of finance.  

California Bill Would Legally Recognize Blockchain Stocks

Nikhilesh De   – CoinDesk

California could become the next U.S. state that allows companies to store data – including information about stockholders – on a blockchain.

Taiwan Aims To Enforce Cryptocurrency Regulations By November

CCN

Taiwan’s Minister of Justice, Qiu Taisan, has called for cryptocurrency regulations to be in place by November in the interest of preventing money laundering.Qui Taisan said the country’s Ministry of Interior, the Central Bank, the Bureau of Investigation and other entities will be involved in determining how to regulate bitcoin.

Accelerators & Hubs

Another Chinese City Is Backing A Big Blockchain Investment Fund

Wolfie Zhao  – CoinDesk

The city government of Shenzhen, China, is backing a dedicated blockchain investment fund that aims to invest 500 million yuan ($80 million) in blockchain startups in Shenzhen during its first phase.

FAO: After Hangzhou earlier this month. I am sure other Chinese cities will soon follow.

Associations & Federations

How British Financial Regulator Creates A Foundation For UK Cryptocurrency Adoption

Gareth Jenkinson – Cointelegraph

Traditional financial institutions and big banks in the UK haven’t been overly supportive of cryptocurrencies over the years, but change could be on the horizon. 2018 has seen a big move for positive regulatory action towards cryptocurrencies around the world and England’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has embraced this change as well.

Analysis

Bitcoin’s Breach Of $9,000 Heartens Battered Crypto Bulls

Janine Wolf – Bloomberg (subscription)

Bitcoin breached $9,000 for the first time in a month and that’s emboldening advocates of the largest cryptocurrency.

FAO: And since we’re here…

The Tricky Art (And Emerging Science) Of Valuing Crypto-Assets

Mike Orcutt – Technology Review

When Chris Burniske began evaluating crypto-assets professionally back in 2014, nobody on Wall Street wanted to talk about Bitcoin and similar systems, insisting that the assets hosted on these networks didn’t have much value. Now that the cryptocurrency market has gotten so big, thanks in large part ICOs, “the same people who largely have said these assets are worthless are now asking how much are these assets actually worth,” he says.

DNT: He’s got a point…

Half Of Russian ICO Money Went To Pyramid Schemes in 2017

Simon Golstein – Finance Magnates

The Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain has announced that it intends to develop guidelines for ICOs in Russia, hoping to distinguish between legitimate projects and scams, according to a report in banki.ru.

Other news

Walmart Is Getting Suppliers to Put Food On The Blockchain

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

Walmart. is getting suppliers to put food on the blockchain to help reduce waste, better manage contamination cases and improve transparency.

Coinbase-Cryptsy Lawsuit Will Head To Jury Trial

Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk

Coinbase has lost another appeal in a lawsuit brought by former customers of the defunct cryptocurrency exchange Cryptsy, and the case will now proceed to a jury trial.An appeals court in Georgia affirmed a lower court’s denial of Coinbase’s appeal of the case, which blames the company for failing to stop Cryptsy’s chief executive from allegedly absconding with his customers’ money.

Opinion

Former JPMorgan Blockchain Head Amber Baldet, Says Focus Should Be On Privacy

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

Amber Baldet, the former head of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s blockchain program, isn’t revealing her next gig, but it became clear that her focus is on privacy.

 

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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News