Blockchain Daily News – Edition 209, 15.05.2018
May 15, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 211, 17.05.2018
May 17, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 210, 16.05.2018


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Fans’ Section

Microsoft’s Search Engine Bing Says It Will Ban Crypto-Related Ads By July 2018

Helen Partz – Cointelegraph

Microsoft-powered search engine Bing has joined other internet giants in announcing it will ban cryptocurrency-related advertisements on its network by July 2018, according to an official blog post.

FAO: And the crypto markets fell as a result…

Crypto Never Sleeps. Now DRW’s Big Trading Desk Doesn’t Either

Matthew Leising – Bloomberg (subscription)

Its Cumberland division will now buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether and about 30 other cryptocurrencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week, lead trader Bobby Cho said in an interview. A November expansion in Singapore allowed Chicago-based Cumberland to do business with customers non-stop on weekdays, but demand didn’t cease on Saturdays and Sundays, he said.

FAO: And now having plenty of products at hand to deliver quality crypto trading 24/7…Scroll down to Exchanges section to read about the announcements of Coinbase and Nomura, among others.

Yes, HTC Is Working On A ‘Blockchain Phone’

Brian Heater – TechCrunch

A few weeks ahead of its latest flagship announcement, HTC just revealed another piece of hardware. While the Taiwanese company has consolidated much of its mobile offerings in recent years, it announced at the Consensus 2018 blockchain conference in New York that its upcoming Exodus handset is embracing everyone’s favorite tech buzzword.

FAO: Fresh competition for the previously announced open source blockchain smartphone. It will be manufactured by Foxconn Technology for Swiss-Israeli firm Sirin Labs which raised $118 million in an ICO last year (reported here).

Share Your Lonely Nights With This Depressing Cryptobeer Vending Machine

Jack Morse – Mashable

The first beautiful sip of our glorious future was poured this week at the Consensus blockchain conference in NYC, where aspiring influencers and likely scammers gathered together in a crowded hotel to herald the oncoming decentralized future. Oh, and to get “cryptobeer” out of a vending machine.

DNT: Then, cheers to the all crypto fans!

We Got Gilfoyle’s Entire PowerPoint Presentation Explaining Cryptocurrency From HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley,’ And It’s Both Useful And Hilarious

Carrie Wittmer – Business Insider

In episode seven of “Silicon Valley’s” fifth season, Gilfoyle convinces Pied Piper CEO Richard Hendricks that the company should get into cryptocurrency. Gilfoyle gives a presentation to argue that the startup should raise money using an ICO instead of a series B round from a venture-capital firm. HBO gave Business Insider Gilfoyle’s whole PowerPoint presentation, which is both useful and hilarious.

FAO: Grab yourself a “cryptobeer” and check this PPT…we will soon be able to chat about it on the “blockchain phone”…OMG the world is going nuts…

Deals & Investments

Bitcoin May Be Down, But A Digital Currency Startup Still Soars

Telis Demos – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Circle Raises $110 Million, Plans To Create Dollar-Pegged Cryptocurrency

Anna Irrera – Reuters

Circle Says Bitmain Leads $110 Million Investment Round

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

Circle Internet Financial closed a funding round led by Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain Technologies for $110 million — and now it wants to build a better U.S. dollar. The closely held mobile payments and cryptocurrency trading firm said the investment raises its valuation to about $3 billion, from a reported $480 million in 2016. Bitmain and Circle are now partners in a venture to create fiat-based digital tokens, the first of which will be backed by U.S. dollars and issued by Circle.

FAO: K’boooom! Here’s something to talk about at the conference…

Global Consultant DNV Invests In Blockchain Startup VeChain

Nikhilesh De  – CoinDesk

Norway-based registrar organization DNV GL has invested in blockchain startup VeChain as part of an expansion of an existing working relationship. While the companies did not reveal the amount of the investment, VeChain CEO Sunny Lu said  that the companies would continue their partnership, which uses VeChain’s network to securely store supply chain management data.

iPhone Maker Foxconn Joins $7M Series A In Enterprise Blockchain Startup

Michael del Castillo – Forbes

The venture capital arm of Foxconn has joined a $7 million Series A round in Cambridge Blockchain, a startup that specializes in helping enterprises ensure they know who their customers are in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Big Cryptocurrency Exchange Coinbase Rebuilding System In Chicago

Lynne Marek – Chicago Business (subscriăption)

Coinbase is making a big move into Chicago, bringing the backbone of its system to the city. Coinbase plans to transfer its current exchange to Chicago and overhaul it using the city’s trading tech talent to upgrade the matching engine, says Paul Bauerschmidt, who was recently hired to oversee the company’s new Chicago office. The rebranded Coinbase Markets infrastructure will be rolled out over the next year.

FAO: Another blow. Chicago – that’s where the high rollers are. These moves will clearly make Coinbase (and Circle) a survivor in a mature “cryptoverse”. Just read below…

Big Bitcoin Exchange Welcomes High-Speed Traders

Alexander Osipovich – The Wall Street Journal

Coinbase Plans Revamp To Lure Institutional & High-Speed Traders

Anna Irrera & John McCrank – Reuters

Coinbase Goes After Wall Street With New Tools For Investors

Julie Verhage & Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)

Coinbase became the best-known cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. by bringing Bitcoin to the masses. Now it’s looking to crack Wall Street. The San Francisco-based company is developing several tools to lure institutional investors onto its platform. They include custodial services where investors can store large amounts of digital currencies, as well as enhanced trading capabilities, such as risk management and margin trading, which allows customers to use borrowed money.

Nomura Launches Collaboration To Create ‘Digital Asset Custody Solution’

Rachel McIntosh – Finance Magnates

Japanese financial holdings company Nomura, crypto wallet manufacturer Ledger, and management consulting firm Global Advisors have announced a collaboration to form ‘Komainu’, a secure digital asset custody solution.

FAO: Coinbase, Nomura move into custody products for big players, after BitGo the other day.

Crypto Exchange Kraken Says It Will Probably Register With SEC

Lily Katz & Annie Massa – Bloomberg (subscription)

Kraken, the digital-currency exchange that recently refused to respond to inquiries from New York’s top lawyer, seems to be warming up to regulators — at least federal ones. The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2011 in the wake of Mt. Gox’s collapse, will probably register with the U.S.SEC as regulators continue cracking down on cryptocurrencies, CEO Jesse Powell said.

FAO: Decided to join the future “survivors list”…

U.S. Crypto Trading Platforms Are About To Get More Competition

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

Cryptocurrency trading platform eToro plans to open its doors to U.S. investors.

U.S. users can join the waiting list for the Tel Aviv-based platform and the service will be rolled out in the second-half of this year, eToro CEO and co-founder Yoni Assia said.

LedgerX Launches First CFTC Regulated Bitcoin Savings Accounts

Michael del Castillo – Forbes

Cryptocurrency asset management platform LedgerX has launched a new bitcoin savings product aimed at serving bitcoin investors who want to buy—and hold.


Korea’s Largest Exchange UPbit Runs ‘Internal Audit’, Dispels Fraud Allegations

William Suberg – Cointelegraph

South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency exchange UPbit said it has conducted an internal audit that disproves suspicions of fraud, local media reported.

FAO: More about the UPbit crisis here and here.


CME To Gauge User Interest For Ether Futures After Index Launch

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

CME Group will review client demand for Ether futures after launching an index tracking prices of the second-largest cryptocurrency.

“We’ll continue to gauge with them to ascertain the demand for futures,” Tim McCourt, CME’s head of equity products, said . “There are no plans at the exchange to launch one currently.”

FAO: …currently.

Thomson Reuters Launches Real Time Rates For Six Cryptocurrencies

Lubomir Tassev –

Thomson Reuters is launching a cryptocurrency real-time rates data feed. The new service is expected to provide “reliable, real-time information” for six digital coins across major crypto exchanges. The stated goal is to encourage efficiency and transparency for cryptocurrency investors within the global market place.

Casper: What Will The Upgrade Bring To The Ethereum’s Network?

Julia Magas – Cointelegraph

Hybrid Casper Friendly Finality Gadget was introduced to move network away from mining-related problems, as “excessive energy consumption, issues with equal access to mining hardware, mining pool centralization, and an emerging market of ASICs”, the ultimate goal being to move the network from a PoW to a PoS system.

U.S. Tech Start-Up Bloq To Launch Token, Platform On June 18

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters

Bloq, a U.S. technology startup which helps corporations build blockchain platforms, will launch its own crypto-currency on June 18, its founders said on Tuesday, in one of the industry’s most anticipated offerings this year.


IBM Helps Issue A Digital Coin For First Time

Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)

International Business Machines which has developed several blockchain-based projects, is now getting into the digital token game. IBM is partnering with blockchain company Veridium Labs to transform carbon credits into digital coins that can be traded on a decentralized exchange. The tokens will be issued and managed on the Stellar network.

BRD Crowd Raises $32 Million To Build Financial Services Into A Mobile Crypto Wallet

John Biggs – TechCrunch

Crypto wallets can’t remain crypto wallets for long. There is so much competition and so many scammers that value-added features like financial services are de rigueur. BRD knows this quite well and is putting $32 million behind the platform to grow out the features and cryptocurrencies supported on their popular app.

Swiss Crypto Miner Alpine Mining, Embarks On Swedish Venture

Matthew Allen – Swissinfo

Alpine Mining, the Swiss cryptocurrency specialist, is branching out of Switzerland to help set up a sizeable crypto mining farm in Sweden. The company been contracted by Diginex to boost the Hong-Kong based blockchain firm’s presence in Europe.


When The Blockchain Skeptic Walked Into The Lions’ Den


Jimmy Song, an investor and bitcoin enthusiast, declared he hadn’t seen anything of interest at the conference’s three floors of packed displays, breakouts, and roundtables. An endless string of sponsor logos floated by on a 40-foot screen behind him. But Song said most of the problems being tackled by those companies don’t need blockchain technology.

Cambridge University’s First Crypto Academic On ‘Crypto Dog Years,’ Why Economists Like Paul Krugman And Nouriel Roubini Are Wrong, And Why He’s Joining Blockchain

Oscar Williams-Grut – Business Insider (subscription)

Cryptocurrency economist Dr. Garrick Hileman is joining crypto wallet provider Blockchain and he talked to Business Insider about why he believes cryptocurrencies are here to stay, what he teaches at Cambridge, why skeptical economists like Paul Krugman and Nouriel Roubini are wrong, and more.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Amazon Is Moving Into Blockchain With A New Partnership

Kate Rooney – CNBC

AWS Moves To Simplify Production-Grade Business Blockchains

Ian Allison – CoinDesk

Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services is partnering with the ethereum design studio Consensys to make enterprise blockchains easier and faster to deploy. Announced at Consensus 2018, the two firms’ business blockchain cloud service, Kaleido, aims to smooth the onboarding process for enterprise consortium members – a major challenge in the space – while simplifying the operation of private blockchain networks.


European Central Bank’s Mersch Says Banks Should ‘Segregate’ Crypto Trading

Marie Huillet – Cointelegraph

European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch has said that banks should “segregate” their dealings in cryptocurrencies from other activities, Reuters reported.

Thailand To Issue Rules On Cryptocurrency By End-June: SEC Chief Rapee Sucharitakul

Reuters Staff – Reuters

Thailand’s SEC expects to issue regulations on cryptocurrencies and ICOs by the end of June after holding a public hearing, the SEC chief said. Offerings of digital tokens will not be allowed until the regulations are announced, Rapee Sucharitakul, SEC secretary-general said.


Blockchain Is Being Taken Seriously By Companies, Deloitte Finds

Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)

Blockchain may be one of the hottest catchphrases among global companies right now, but a survey from Deloitte LLP finds that it’s more than lip service.

DNT: As it should be!

Coindesk Releases Q1 2018 State Of Blockchain Report

Peter Ryan  – CoinDesk

To shed light on a tumultuous Q1, CoinDesk’s latest State of Blockchain report provides a 90-plus slide analysis of some of the most significant data points.

Other news

Facebook’s Blockchain Move Raises Eyebrows

Hannah Kuchler & Chloe Cornish – Financial Times (subscription)

“A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralising force that puts more power in people’s hands,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote in his New Year message to his Facebook followers. The Facebook founder was lamenting how, with the rise of a small number of big tech companies — not least his own — many people believe technology only centralises power, rather than decentralises it.


The Three Reasons Asset Managers Do Not Invest In Cryptocurrencies

Clare Dickinson – Financial News (subscription)

This May Be The Year That Institutional Money Will Buy Bitcoin, Markets Research Firm Tabb Says

Evelyn Cheng – CNBC

Three main hurdles — regulatory uncertainty, lack of market infrastructure and institutional-grade data sources — prevent institutions from participating in the cryptocurrency market at scale, the report said.

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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News