Blockchain Daily News – Edition 208, 14.05.2018
May 14, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 210, 16.05.2018
May 16, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 209, 15.05.2018

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Fans’ Section

Consensus Plays Host To Fake Protest Organized By Bitcoin Mining Company

Jack Morse – Mashable

At NYC’s Big Crypto Conference, The Lamborghinis Are Rented And Protests Are Staged

Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

John Nouri makes a living renting out exotic cars for weddings, birthdays, bachelorette parties, and now … Bitcoin conferences?  He stood outside the Hilton Midtown hotel in Manhattan, guarding three Lamborghinis — bright orange, navy blue and black — that Broadway SuperCars had rented to BitMex for the day. Nouri declined to disclose how much the crypto exchange had paid, but said a rental like that typically goes for around $1,000.

FAO: Who wants to be a billionaire for a day? OMG marketing has some really mysterious ways…

Deals & Investments

Chinese Bitcoin Mining Equipment Makers,Canaan Creative & Zhejiang Ebang, Plan $1B Hong Kong Listings: IFR

Fiona Lau – Reuters

Canaan Creative and Zhejiang Ebang Communication plan to raise up to $1B each from Hong Kong listings this year, riding on strong global interest in cryptocurrencies, IFR reported on citing people familiar with the plans.

DNT: The need for capital is still high for Chinese bitcoin mining equipment makers.

FAO: Question is: will their founders buy some Lambos after getting the billions?

Former JPMorgan Head Of Blockchain, Amber Baldet, Announces New Start-up

Kate Rooney – CNBC  

Ex-JPMorgan Chase Blockchain Duo, Amber Baldet and Patrick Nielsen Unveil New Startup

Robert Hackett – Fortune

Amber Baldet, who most recently served as the bank’s blockchain program lead, is cofounding a new startup, Clovyr, that aims to help consumers, developers, and businesses explore the nascent, albeit burgeoning, world of blockchain-based, decentralized technologies. She is joined by Nielsen, former lead developer of Quorum, a JPMorgan Chase-built blockchain for business, who will serve as the concern’s chief technologist.

FAO: Baldet’s announcement last month has clearly surprised a lot of people. Of course, she decided to unveil her new project at Consensus…

Ripple Is Going After Startups To Build An Ecosystem Around The XRP Cryptocurrency

Jon Russell – TechCrunch  

Ripple is making a push to expand the use of the XRP cryptocurrency into new verticals and segments beyond the payment and banking space where the company is focused.

FAO: Getting stuck working with banks???

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Are Ether Futures Next?

Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

CME Launches Indexes For Ethereum, The Second-Largest Cryptocurrency

Evelyn Cheng – CNBC

CME launched two indexes for tracking ethereum, spurring speculation the world’s largest futures exchange may launch another cryptocurrency futures product soon.

But the company said it has no plans right now for ethereum futures, although the structure of the indexes is very similar to the ones behind CME’s bitcoin futures.

DNT: This is a story that may have the effect of dilating the reader’s pupil…

FAO: More about this yesterday. Yet, the launch of new crypto futures products is highly anticipated and the topic was “intensely” discussed on previous occasions. No need in adding more comment to the idea. CME launching ether futures is more of a “when” than of an “if”.

Winklevoss Bitcoin Exchange Wins NY Approval To Expand, Offer Zcash

Jonathan Stempel – Reuters

New York state authorized the Gemini Trust Co exchange founded by internet entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to offer trading of the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, making it the world’s first licensed Zcash exchange.

FAO: Building up the  crypto investment universe – step 2 – adding more instruments. Highly needed in order for institutional investors to be able to create sustainable investment strategies dedicated to cryptos.

Cryptocurrencies

Russia Bank Evrofinance Mosnarbank Helps Venezuela Defy US Cryptocurrency Sanctions

Joshua Goodman  – The Washington Post

Investors looking to buy Venezuela’s new cryptocurrency may want to head to a little-known Moscow bank whose biggest shareholders are President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government and two state-controlled Russian companies under U.S. sanctions. Evrofinance Mosnarbank has emerged as the only international financial institution so far willing to defy a U.S. campaign to derail the world’s first state-backed digital currency, called the petro, even before it begins to function.

FAO: Check out previous reports about the “petro” project – use our Archive, it’s free.

Inside The Multi-Year Quest To Create A Bitcoin ETF

Tracy Alloway & Joe Weisenthal – Bloomberg (subscription)

When Bitcoin first began generating headlines, there were some who thought the cryptocurrency was a fraud and others who thought it was the next big thing. Greg King, CEO of Rex Shares LLC, was one of the latter. Like the Winklevoss twins, he set out to create an ETF that would allow people to invest in Bitcoin in a new way. But many years later, the U.S. securities watchdog hasn’t approved such plans. On this edition of the Odd Lots podcast, we use the Bitcoin example and King’s experience to explain the inner workings of ETFs.

Vendors

Exclusive: NASDAQ-Powered Crypto Exchange DX Set To Launch Next Month

Michael Pearl – Finance Magnates

dx.exchange, which is set to launch next month, is the first crypto exchange powered by NASDAQ. “The advantage of this cooperation is threefold: the brand name, the technology and the regulations,” said DX Exchange CEO Daniel Skowronski.

FAO: Hold your horses! US customers will be excluded at this point. The exchange has an Estonian license, and a market maker license from the Cypriot regulator, CySEC. Nevertheless, NASDAQ is testing its trading tech on cryptos.

Kx Systems Adds Cryptocurrency Trading To Its White Label Platform

Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates

Kx Systems, a subsidiary of First Derivatives, has formally introduced cryptocurrency trading, rolling the new ‎service out to clients of its FX trading platform, Kx for Flow.‎

AlphaPoint Launches Framework for Real Estate Blockchain Tokens

Brady Dale  – CoinDesk

Crypto services firm AlphaPoint unveiled a new framework aimed at supporting the launch of blockchain tokens backed by regulated assets.

BitPeople

OKEx CEO Resigns Just as Crypto Exchange Becomes World’s Biggest

Eric Lam – Bloomberg (subscription)

OKEx CEO, Chris Lee resigned, leaving the Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange just as it became the world’s largest by reported turnover. Lee left for personal reasons, to “start a new life,” OKEx said in an emailed statement.

DNT: Chris Lee made a separate statement issued by his spokeswoman, saying “it had been the “greatest pleasure and an honour” to work at OKEx and that he will return to the blockchain community after a short break to spend time with his family. He didn’t elaborate on the reasons for his departure, the story also informs.

Former UBS China President Karen Chen, Joins Cryptocurrency Firm as CEO

Justina Lee – Bloomberg (subscription)

Karen Chen, the former president of UBS China has been appointed CEO at cryptocurrency firm Higgs Block Technology joining other finance veterans in jumping ship to the burgeoning digital-asset industry. Chen started at Higgs Block in December, the Singapore-based blockchain company said in a statement.

Via Reuters – Bitwise Asset Management appointed John Hyland as head of ETFs

DNT: Hyland previously worked as the CIO at United States Commodity Funds.

U.S. Says Centra Tech Co-founders Indicted For Cryptocurrency Fraud

Reuters Staff – Reuters

U.S. prosecutors announced the indictment of three co-founders of a cryptocurrency start-up once promoted by the boxer Floyd Mayweather, accusing them of fraudulently raising more than $25 million from investors in an ICO. Sohrab “Sam” Sharma, Robert Farkas and Raymond Trapani, who co-founded Centra Tech were each charged with securities fraud, wire fraud and two conspiracy counts, according to an indictment filed with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

DNT: Check our FREE ARCHIVE for more on this topic.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Poland Becomes World’s First To Put Banking Records On The Blockchain

Billon

Polish Credit Office, the largest credit bureau in CEE, commits to implementing Billon blockchain for storage and secure access to sensitive customer information.

Taiwan: Taipei Bank Launches First Blockchain Payment System In The Country

Helen Partz – Cointelegraph

Privately-held Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank has reportedly become the first bank in Taiwan to deploy a blockchain-based payment system, local media Taipei Times reports. The bank announced that it deployed its blockchain-based payment system for restaurants and merchants near the National Chengchi University.

Regulation

EU Approves AML Legislation Targeting Anonymity In Crypto Market, Local Sources Report

William Suberg – Cointelegraph

Breakingviews – EU Transparency Purge May Boost Bitcoin Legitimacy

Lisa Jucca – Reuters

A European Union transparency drive may boost bitcoin’s legitimacy. The bloc agreed on to force cryptocurrency exchanges to identify users. That will make it harder for criminals to use virtual cash to hide their ill-gotten gains.

FAO: The EU ratified the legislation the European Parliament had approved last month (more details here). The new rules will need to be integrated into national legislation by EU members in about 18 months from now.

U.S. Crypto Regulatory Fight Has Everything But Rules: QuickTake

Benjamin Bain & Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

U.S. Must Move Quickly on Ether Status, CFTC’s Quintenz Says

Benjamin Bain – Bloomberg (subscription)

CFTC Official Backs Winklevoss Crypto Self-Regulation Bid

Annaliese Milano  – CoinDesk

A proposed cryptocurrency SRO put forward by Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss has won support from a key government advocate on the issue. CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz has consistently advocated for the creation of a crypto SRO, calling for such a move during last week’s keynote at the DC Blockchain Summit in Washington, D.C. In a statement he congratulated the Winklevosses on their “thoughtful approach” to the area.

FAO: Another case of “when”, not an “if” – crypto regulation in the US.

Zimbabwe Bans Banks From Processing Payments For Cryptocurrencies

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Zimbabwe’s central bank has stopped local banks from trading or processing payments linked to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, its governor said, but stopped short of banning local cryptocurrency trading exchanges.

Crypto-Teams BDN Global Outlook

-update-

Team “Pro”: Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Cambodia, Catalonia, Argentina, Gibraltar, Malta, Belarus, Moldova

Team “Against”: China, India, Russia, Malaysia, South Korea, Lebanon, Taiwan, Israel, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Vietnam, Zimbabwe (new entry)

Team “Neutral”: EU, USA, Canada

Analysis

Ripple: The Banker Coin Is Dead

Seeking Alpha

While many outside of the cryptocurrency community had faith in ripple, this faith seems to have significantly diminished recently. Despite breaking out of a descending trendline in April, growth has been very bearish and doesn’t seem too significant.

Bitcoin Climbs From Three-Week Low as Lambos Take Manhattan

Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

The crypto bros have taken over Midtown Manhattan.

Lamborghinis, the flashy cars that symbolize conspicuous consumption among Bitcoin true-believers, roared through the streets near the Hilton Midtown, site of the Consensus 2018 conference. Whether actual Bitcoin millionaires or hired marketeers, the drivers added to the cacophony and stoked hype for what the city’s calling Blockchain Week.

Other news

Praying To Satoshi At The Blockchain Art Expo

Wired

At the altar, a message on a small computer screen prompted visitors to write prayers to the real Nakamoto, which were then algorithmically transformed into random private keys, which were in turn used to guess the password that unlocks the Bitcoin inventor’s abandoned cryptocurrency fortune—estimated to be worth over $8 billion.

FedEx’s Smith Sees Blockchain As `Next Frontier’ For Logistics

Thomas Black – Bloomberg (subscription)

Convinced that blockchain is on the brink of transforming the package-delivery business, FedEx Corp. is testing the technology to track large, higher-value cargo.

“We’re quite confident that it has big, big implications in supply chain, transportation and logistics,” Chief Executive Officer Fred Smith said at a blockchain conference in New York.

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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News