David Ingram – Reuters
Facebook reorganized the duties of its product executives, in the process creating an unusual new division: David Marcus, formerly head of Facebook’s Messenger app, will now lead a team of fewer than a dozen people dedicated to blockchain technology, according to Recode. He’ll be joined by notable executives including Kevin Weil, former VP of product at Instagram, and James Everingham, VP of engineering at Instagram.
FAO: Facebook is pushing on with its blockchain plans (check this January edition), probably after the sound Telegram funding rounds, $1.7B from fewer than 200 private investors. How will the world look in just five years from now? Add this to the scenario: Facebook Coin, Amazon Coin, Telegram Coin. You can improvise the rest of the scenario, but don’t go too far from things expected to happen – ICE/Nasdaq crypto markets etc. etc. Send me your “work papers” – I will publish the best of them. This can be fun!
Stan Schroeder – Mashable
These days, it’s no longer enough to call Bitcoin a bad or dangerous investment. If you want to convince the world that Bitcoin is no good, you need to conjure up a string of adjectives so scathing that it makes the Bitcoin sound worse than the plague. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charles Munger called Bitcoin “anti-social,” “stupid,” “immoral,” and a “turd.” He likened it to organ trading, said people pushing Bitcoin are a “disgrace,” and he somehow managed to squeeze the word “dementia” in there, too.
FAO: And what a rich collection of adjectives we have gathered in our (still) FREE ARCHIVE in less than a year of publishing our daily newsletters…
Lawrence Delevingne & Anna Irrera – Reuters
Traditional custodian banks such as Bank of New York Mellon and State Street do not yet handle crypto assets like bitcoin. That means hedge funds have been forced far from Wall Street to places like Springfield, Pennsylvania, or Murray, Kentucky, to find auditors, custodians and record-keepers, according to fund disclosures and executives.
FAO: Patience, the ecosystem is in the making.
Rory Cellan-Jones – BBC
Violet Lim wants to get rich by marrying together internet dating and the latest investment craze. “Our ICO is about love on the blockchain,” the founder of Viola.ai exclaims.
Samantha Hurst – Crowdfund Insider
LATTICE80 is currently planning to launch Crypto Exchange exclusively for institutional investors. According to LATTICE80, the new exchange will be catered to Institutional Investors and it will have a market-making engine to provide liquidity to other exchanges and funds.
FAO: LATTICE80 recently announced to open Crypto Hub in Singapore, pivoting from broad fintech to blockchain and crypto (but only in Singapore).
Rachel McIntosh – Finance Magnates
The blockchain-based crowdfunding marketplace, known as ‘LiVE’, is self-described as a “complete startup ecosystem, inclusively from the business management education for startup and SME entrepreneurs, to assistance in connecting with institutional and accredited investors.”
David Floyd – CoinDesk
The sudden resignation of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman doesn’t appear to have impacted that office’s inquiry into more than a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges.CoinDesk asked the Attorney General’s Office if the crypto exchange inquiry would continue in light of Schneiderman’s exit. In an email, press secretary Amy Spitalnick wrote: “Our office’s work continues.”
DNT: In our yesterday’s edition, I was wondering about that. Now we have the answer and we will watch closely this hot subject.
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
A fight is on for the soul of Ether. With a market capitalization of $73 billion, the biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin has been hailed as the future of digital finance because of its ability to layer software applications on top of transactions. But as Ether rises in price and importance, powerful players within the virtual currency world such as equipment maker Bitmain are angling for greater control and profit.
David Floyd – CoinDesk
A new version of the code behind Casper, a planned change to the way the ethereum network reaches consensus, has been published for wider scrutiny by auditors and client developers. Danny Ryan, the developer behind Casper FFG, posted a version 0.1.0 “first release” of the code to GitHub, noting, “v0.1.0 marks us more clearly tagging releases to help clients and external auditors more easily track the contract and changes.”
FAO: More changes in the Ethereum world. Will 2018 be the year of the Ethereum?
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
Kik, the Canadian-based chat app, announced it’s launched its own blockchain as part of an effort to promote the use of its digital currency—known as Kin—in various online communities.
FAO: Press release here. Kik is moving its coin, Kin, from the Ethereum blockchain to the Stellar blockchain. It will need atomic bridging to move the tokens between the blockchains. Kik Interactive raised about $100 million last year, but unfortunately the Ethereum got too crowded for Kik’s needs (too many crypto kitties) – have a read here and here.
Financial Times (subscription)
The irony is delicious. Bitcoin, biggest of the cryptocurrencies, was heralded as a technology that would set us free from the sclerotic institutions of a fetid financial system: central banks, commercial bank oligopolies, bought-and-paid-for regulators. What has happened instead? As an alternative medium of exchange, bitcoin has gone essentially nowhere. It has thrived only as a speculative asset — and, in that capacity, trading in bitcoin is being pulled slowly into the very edifice it was meant to pull down.
Roger Aitken – Forbes
New York-based CG Blockchain, which is developing blockchain-based tools and services for the financial services sector, has revealed that its affiliate, BCT has closed the online public sale of its BCT “ERC20-compliant” utility token and raised over $25 million. It comes despite recent turbulence for ICOs.
FAO: New tools for a much more bigger “cryptoverse”.
Patricia Hurtado – Bloomberg (subscription)
A Brooklyn, New York, man accused of peddling cybercurrency offerings backed by non-existent investments in real estate and diamonds claims he can’t be prosecuted for securities fraud. But a judge wasn’t buying that defense.
Ron Miller – TechCrunch
BotChain, a new startup out of Boston wants to be the blockchain for registering bots.
The new blockchain, which is built on Ethereum, is designed to register and identify bots and provide a way for companies to collaborate between bots with auditing capabilities built in. BotChain has the potential to become a standard way of sharing data between bots in a trusted way.
Matt Levine – Bloomberg (subscription)
If I sell you a Bitcoin, what have I sold you? Is it a currency? A commodity? A financial asset? A security, even? Something new and different? There are tedious debates. I suppose you might find them interesting if you’re a philosopher of money, or of Bitcoin. But you might find them important—yet still tedious!—if you are a regulated financial institution thinking about trading Bitcoins. The regulations that apply to you contain lots of lists of things and what you can do to them, and you need to figure out where Bitcoin fits on those lists.
Gabriel T. Rubin – Financial News (subscription)
The CFTC’s flat budget comes as the markets under its jurisdiction are growing and changing.
Helen Partz – Cointelegraph
The Ukrainian National Securities and Stock Market Commission will consider recognizing cryptocurrencies as a financial instrument, according to an announcement. The head of the commission, Timur Khromaev, made the announcement in a Facebook post following the annual conference of the International Organization of Securities Commissions on crypto and ICOs.
FAO: The fastest and easiest way to start collecting those juicy taxes from traders and investors.
Miguel Gomez – Cryptovest
A court of appeal in Russia took matters into its own hands and established once and for all that cryptocurrencies count as part of a person’s property.
The Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal made a decision that ordered a debtor to allow a bankruptcy administrator to gain access to his wallet, which was considered part of the estate.
Lucas Mearian – Computerworld
The SEC is scrutinizing Ether, second only to bitcoin in value, to determine if it should be considered a security; the decision could affect other digital currencies launched through initial coin offerings.
Shawn Langlois – MarketWatch
Chris McCann of venture-capital firm Greylock Partners, along with many unflappable crypto enthusiasts, have long likened digital currency’s potential — and the ignorance surrounding it — to the early days of the World Wide Web. In other words, the gold rush, to the faithful, is just getting started. And McCann recently offered a chart-heavy look on Medium at where bitcoin and the rest of the crypto universe currently stand in the grand scheme of things.
FAO: This might explain why Bill Gates recently said “I would short it (Bitcoin) if there was an easy way to do it”…Looks like it is quite difficult to short it now… 🙂 Oh, you might also want to read this…
Matt Levine – Bloomberg (subscription)
Enid Tsui – SCMP
The art world sees trading art using cryptocurrencies as a way to draw in tech-savvy new collectors, and blockchain both as a way to guarantee artworks’ provenance and sellers’ ownership of them, and to raise funds from investors.
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
The Texas State Securities Board has issued cease-and-desist orders to two bitcoin investment schemes that it alleges are selling unregistered securities and making fraudulent claims to the state’s residents According to one order, the securities regulator takes aim at a company called Forex EA & Bitcoin Investment LLC and two individuals associated with the scheme, James Butcher and Richard Dunn.
Evelyn Chang – CNBC
I’m not a big believer in bitcoin. I am a believer in blockchain technology,” former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn said. “I do think we will have a global cryptocurrency at some point where the world understands it and it’s not based on mining costs or cost of electricity or things like that,” Cohn said.
He expects the digital coin of the future will be simpler than bitcoin. “It will be a more easily understood cryptocurrency,” Cohn said.
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FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News