Blockchain Daily News – Edition 207, 11.05.2018
May 11, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 209, 15.05.2018
May 15, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 208, 14.05.2018

We are proudly announcing that Blockchain Daily News became a Media Partner of Crypto Startup School, a summer school jointly organized by The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center. The event will take place from 25th – 29th of June 2018 on the campus of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.

There are prizes too! Participants will be working in groups on their individual ICO projects during afternoon sessions. On the final day of the program, each group is given the opportunity to pitch their project in front of a group of judges. The total prize money of 10.000€, courtesy of Iconiqlab will be awarded to the three best projects as follows: Winner: 5.000 €, Runner-up: 3.000 €, Third: 2.000 €! I will also participate, so it this is the perfect occasion for anybody to meet me in person and also work with me on a demo ICO project.

Tickets can be purchased HERE and because you are a reader of our daily publications, you can use this voucher code NEWS-BCA-CSS2018 for a 10% discount.

Fans’ Section

Blockchain Week: Snoop Dogg, Dorsey Bring Crypto To The Masses

Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

Who says the hype around Bitcoin is over? Even with the world’s best known virtual currency down more than 50% from it’s record high, thousands of advocates are expected to descend upon New York in what’s been dubbed Blockchain Week. More than 6,500 people are expected to crowd into a Midtown Manhattan hotel for Consensus, the biggest of about two dozen events and conferences between May 10 and May 19.

DNT: As the story informs, the conference shouldn’t be confused with ConsenSys, the Brooklyn-based blockchain startup founded by Ethereum guru Joseph Lubin, who sponsored his own event.

FAO: And of course this “blockchain week” will bring the usual PR and media “hype”. You will be bombarded with announcements and sponsored stories about the projects and companies in the “cryptoverse”. Now it’s the perfect time to realize how a free service like Blockchain Daily News is making your life a lot easier. 

Facebook Is Reportedly ‘Very Serious’ About Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency

Sara Salinas – CNBC

Facebook is “very serious” about launching its own cryptocurrency, according to a report from Cheddar.

It’s not the first time the idea of a Facebook coin has been floated, but the plans take on some greater meaning in light of Facebook’s recently reshuffled executive structure and newly formed blockchain group.

DNT: Find here, Fans’ Section, details about Facebook’s recent reorganization that includes a blockchain group which will be led by David Marcus, the executive most recently in charge of Facebook’s Messenger group.

Deals & Investments

ConsenSys Ventures Invests In Six Companies And Launches Its Accelerator

Mike Butcher – TechCrunch

ConsenSys Ventures has invested in a new round of six companies and is formally launching its Accelerator, “Tachyon”.  

BlockTower Capital Is Diving Into Venture Capital Investing

Frank Chaparro – Business Insider

Crypto hedge fund BlockTower Capital is diving into venture capital investing with a new fund, according to people familiar with the matter. It will devote $20 to $25 million to the new fund, the people said, and will invest in startups in the crypto space

FAO: BlockTower Capital launched in August last year and raised $140m from Union Square Ventures LLC and Andreessen Horowitz, among other backers.

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Korea’s Financial Watchdog To Join Crypto Exchange UPbit Investigation


Bitcoin Slips Below $9,000 After Korean Exchange Raid

Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

Bitcoin broke its streak Friday after South Korean prosecutors raided the offices of Upbit, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, renewing concerns that heightened regulatory scrutiny around the world could hurt business and dampen enthusiasm for digital assets.

FAO: You must remember Friday, the most recent “sea of red” in the “cryptoverse”.

Bank Of Canada, TMX Say Blockchain Feasible For Securities Settlement

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Canada’s central bank, TMX Group and non-profit organization Payments Canada said that they had developed an integrated securities and payment settlement platform using a distributed ledger and found that cash and assets can be tokenized to complete an instant settlement. The three organizations said that tests had shown blockchain technology can be used for automating instantaneous securities settlements.

FAO: Latest phase of “Project Jasper”, launched last year. Yet, from testing to actually using the tech is a long way.

German Online Bank Bitbond Uses Bitcoins To Transfer Loans

Reuters Staff – Reuters

German Radoslav Albrecht has founded an online bank that allows clients to transfer loans anywhere in the world using Bitcoin. Bitbond uses cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to bypass the Swift international transfer system to lend money across the globe rapidly and at low cost.

FAO: Peer-to-peer lending in bitcoin for small business loans. The platform currently counts more than 140k users.

New Crypto Exchanges Open In Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, And The Philippines

Kevin Helms –

The number of new cryptocurrency exchanges is rapidly growing worldwide. This new crypto exchange roundup features four platforms located in South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.


Cryptocurrency Trading Platform Crypto Facilities Launches First Regulated Ethereum Futures

Michael del Castillo – Forbes

Following in the path of bitcoin futures, launched by U.K.-based Crypto Facilities in 2015, and XRP futures, launched in 2016, the company, which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the U.K., started  trading Ethereum futures. But this early batch of Ethereum futures has potential impact beyond just Crypto Facilities. The startup also provided support to the CME Group commodities exchange when it launched its own bitcoin futures last year.

FAO: More and more hedging options out there.

‘Utility’ No More? ConsenSys Pitches ‘Consumer Token’ Label

Annaliese Milano  – CoinDesk

The Brooklyn Project – the token regulation initiative headed by ethereum startup ConsenSys – wants to dispense with the concept of “utility tokens” in favor of what it calls “consumer tokens.” The Project discussed its intention to shift the discourse at the Fluidity Summit during a presentation by ConsenSys’ policy lead Pat Berarducci and OpenLaw’s Aaron Wright.


BitGo Courts Wall Street With New Bitcoin Custody Products

Pete Rizzo – CoinDesk  

Palo Alto-based startup BitGo has unveiled a new suite of custodial services aimed at institutional investors who may be eying the market with interest.The product launch notably builds on BitGo’s move to buy Kingdom Trust, a US qualified custodian of traditional financial assets, in January. But while that acquisition is still awaiting regulatory approval, that isn’t stopping BitGo from bolstering its offerings.


Blythe Masters And Gary Gorton, Wall Street Exec Who Pioneered Risky Swaps Now Touts Blockchain

Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal  (subscription)

A decade after the financial crisis, The Wall Street Journal has checked in on dozens of the bankers, government officials, chief executives, hedge-fund managers and others who left a mark on that period to find out what they are doing now. Today, we spotlight Blythe Masters and Gary Gorton.

FAO: Blythe Masters is quite a usual presence in our publications. As you might know, this former executive at JPMorgan Chase is currently the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings. The fintech firm is developing DLT for financial services and is working with ASX to replace its settlement and clearing system, CHESS, with blockchain technology. The new blockchain platform will be ready by the end of 2020 and it will set a precedent in the global exchange space.  

Goldman Sachs Banker Waves Goodbye To Wall Street’s Security In Search Of Crypto Riches

Hugh Son – CNBC

Two days after Chris Matta earned a prized promotion at storied investment bank Goldman Sachs, he shocked his bosses. He decided to walk away from it all.

Latest Developments & Agreements

HSBC Says Trade Deal Shows Blockchain Viable For Trade Finance

Alfred Liu – Bloomberg (subscription)

HSBC Says Performs First Trade Finance Deal Using Single Blockchain System

Sumeet Chatterjee – Reuters

HSBC said it has performed the world’s first trade finance transaction using a single blockchain platform, in a push to boost efficiency in the multi-trillion-dollar funding of international trade. HSBC and ING completed the deal for Cargill, when a shipment of soybeans was transported from Argentina to Malaysia via the global commodities trader’s Geneva and Singapore subsidiaries, the British lender said.

FAO: HSBC is part of a joint venture incorporated in Dublin under the name Innovation DAC. HSBC’s equal partners are Deutsche Bank, KBC, Natixis, Nordea, Rabobank, Santander, Société Générale and Unicredit. is a platform for managing, tracking and protecting trade transactions between SMEs. It is powered by the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain framework.

BTW IBM partners with several international banks to develop a blockchain-based trade finance platform called Batavia. The banks in the project are: the Bank of Montreal, CaixaBank, Commerzbank, Erste Group and the United Bank of Switzerland.


eToro’s Mati Greenspan: If Bitcoin & Ether Are Classed As Securities Under The Law It Could Trigger More Volatility In The Crypto Markets

Mati Greenspan – Business Insider

There is a rising speculation that the SEC could start calling some cryptos securities and if they do that, it creates some rather sticky legal issues for the founders and holders.

Belgium’s FSMA Warns Over Unregistered Cryptocurrency Platforms

Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates

Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority has issued a warning against the unauthorized activities of multiple ‎cryptocurrency platforms that are offering investments in the country without ‎complying with Belgian financial legislation.‎

India – Bitcoin Traders Move SC, Say Nothing Illegal About Crypto Cash

Nilesh Christopher – The Economic Times

A group of bitcoin traders has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the Reserve Bank of India’s order to banks to withdraw services to trade cryptocurrencies, arguing that the regulator was blocking “essential services” as virtual currencies are not banned in the country.

Thailand – ‘Bitcoin Tax’ Takes Effect

The Bangkok Post

Cryptocurrency and digital token traders face a 15% tax on capital gains from putting their money in the assets after a royal ordinance took effect today. The ordinance amends the revenue code, which paves the way for tax collections on the digital assets.

Pakistan – Pakistanis Find Ways To Trade Bitcoin Rendering Ban Ineffective

Lubomir Tassev –

The crypto ban in Pakistan is proving to be not as effective as expected. If anything, the State Bank has barred commercial banks and financial firms from dealing in cryptocurrency which, of course, makes life harder for local exchanges. Individual traders, however, are finding alternative ways to acquire or sell cryptocurrencies, defying the warnings and the prohibitions.     


Roubini Vs. Crypto, Round Two: This Time At A Blockchain Summit

Rob Urban – Bloomberg (subscription)

Economist Nouriel Roubini tested his arguments against cryptocurrencies at the Milken conference, only to ignite a verbal brawl on stage. The whole audience was hostile.

Speaking to a packed room of blockchain believers in Williamsburg, and sitting across from Joseph Lubin, the co-creator of No. 2 cryptocurrency Ethereum, Roubini tried starting with an icebreaker.

FAO: You might remember round one the other week.

Bitcoin Conferences Flood New York, Bringing Millions In Ticket Sales

Evelyn Cheng – CNBC

Cryptocurrency conferences are still a massive business, even if bitcoin’s price has plunged this year. When it kicks off this week, one ticket to CoinDesk’s Consensus three-day conference in New York City can cost roughly $2,000. Well over 4,000 are expected to attend, up from 2,700 attendees last year. So at a minimum, the conference is likely bringing in $8 million.


Maybe Companies Are Just Doing Blockchain Wrong

John Detrixhe – Quartz

There are signs that blockchain fever is cooling off. Not long ago, banks were crowding into consortiums to develop distributed-ledger systems, as optimism about (and fear of) the new technology bubbled up. But so far, albeit with some exceptions, few live commercial projects have sprung up. It also seems most executives aren’t planning to implement much of anything featuring blockchain anytime soon, according to a Gartner survey of CIOs.

Bitcoin Faces ‘Death Cross’ After Falling Below $9,000

Luke Kawa – Bloomberg (subscription)

Bitcoin’s plunge back below $9,000 has the cryptocurrency facing a dreaded death cross. This occurs when the 50-day moving average breaks below its 200-day counterpart on a closing basis. As the name implies, it’s considered a bearish development.

Other news

Russia Probes Billion-Dollar Fraud Based On Testimony Of Bitcoin Hacker Alexander Vinnik – Source

Sputnik News

Russia has opened a criminal inquiry into confessions by Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national held in a Greek jail at a US request related to money-laundering charges, a source privy to the matter told Sputnik.

FAO: Apparently there was an attempt on Vinnik’s life while he was being held in a Thessaloniki jail. Vinnik was accused by the United States of laundering up to $9B on a bitcoin trading platform.


Blockchain Will Help ‘Drive This Next Industrial Revolution,’ Wall Street Bull Steve Chiavarone Predict

Stephanie Landsman – CNBC

One of Wall Street’s biggest bulls sees blockchain playing a big role as an economic growth driver. It still may be considered an emerging technology, but Federated Investors portfolio manager Steve Chiavarone is folding the electronic system, which records cryptocurrency transactions, into his stock market forecast.

The Crypto Alternative

Jon Evans – TechCrunch

Suppose, just for a moment, just for argument’s sake, that (some) cryptocurrencies are not a giant scam, and what’s more, they’re not just another kind of financial asset. Imagine, just for a moment, that there exist plausible futures in which they matter. An interesting question to ask is: what exactly do those futures look like?

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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News