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Annie Massa, Lily Katz, Rob Urban & Camila Russo- Bloomberg (subscription)
The smell of marijuana wafted through a half-filled event space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, as a group of cryptocurrency believers downed champagne and blood orange margaritas. The event, sponsored by Ripple Labs, brought together XRP loyalists and skeptics alike for a concert headlined by 46-year-old rapper Snoop Dogg.
Jemima Kelly – Alphaville Financial Times (subscription)
If you thought the crypto hype was starting to cool down a little, you’d be right. But if you’d been at the Consensus crypto and blockchain summit in New York for the past few days, you would not have known it.
Alison Sider & Ben Eisen – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Seth Kaye, a pink-haired designer, arrived in New York for the Consensus crypto conference this week, hoping that someone would talk to him about his idea to fund solar projects with a digital currency.What he found was a mix of “cool techie people” and “greedy axxhxxxs”—though he did eventually run into someone who might help along his project.
FAO: Going through the plethora of stories emerging from the Big Apple these days I must confess that one of my thoughts was that everything is starting to look like a contemporary equivalent of the “hippie/flower power” movement. Maybe not the best parallel in the modern history BUT we could say that the contemporary “hippies” are now opposing traditional finance and they found the best way of showing it. I need to see it with my own eyes, so maybe next year I will attend Consensus too.
Brady Dale – CoinDesk
Polymath revealed it’s in the process of closing a deal to acquire a large stake in the Barbados Stock Exchange and that it’s working on a deal with the alternative trading system tZero.
Paul Clarke – Financial News (subscription)
Petro Levchenko, a former Credit Suisse fx trader has quit banking and raised $30m to launch a cryptocurrency hedge fund in Amsterdam.
DNT: The “cryptoverse” has its gates wide open and the switching sides saga continues! Petro Levchenko spent 10 years as an FX trader at the London headquarters of Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and Royal Bank of Scotland, the story also informs.
Jemima Kelly – Alphaville Financial Times (subscription)
Matt Robinson – Bloomberg (subscription)
A hot new ICO gives investors the chance of a lifetime to make money from sun-soaked beaches and crystal-clear waters. It also provides something even more valuable: advice on how to avoid getting ripped off by fraudulent ICOs.
The SEC is pitching a fake ICO to educate investors on the pitfalls of too-good-to-be-true ventures. The bogus digital currency, called HoweyCoins, has a sleek website, complete with a white paper, and pictures of made-up celebrity promoters and luxurious destinations.
FAO: Of course this made my day!
Evelyn Cheng – CNBC
A new blockchain ETF launched on the NYSE.
The REX BKCM ETF holds shares of 32 companies working in cryptocurrencies or their underlying blockchain technology.
DNT: The ETF is run by Rex Shares and actively managed by Brian Kelly, a CNBC contributor and head of BKCM, which runs a digital assets strategy for clients, the story informs.
Sara Castellanos – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Hugh Son – CNBC
Daniel Pinto believes the U.S. economy is headed for two or more years of expansion but is already preparing the bank for a stock market correction of as much as 40%. He is bullish on the firm’s prospects in China, and expects the country will soon be J.P. Morgan’s second-biggest market. Regarding the threat from Amazon and other tech firms that want a slice of banks’ pie: “The worst thing you can do is ignore it. You have to assume they will get involved.”
FAO: Hmm, market correction…BTW why don’t you read our opinion on February’s market volatility and what this could mean for the future of the “cryptoverse”. We first published it on Linkedin Pulse on Feb 13th. And sending your thoughts would be even better – join our Linkedin & Telegram groups!
Simon Golstein – Finance Magnates
The Floor, Tel Aviv’s fintech hub, has announced the release of a new platform in partnership with the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, Accenture, Hyperledger, and Intel, according to an official press release.
SmartTrade Technologies, a multi-asset electronic trading solutions pioneer, announced the addition of Cryptocurrencies to its award-winning FX Trading Platform, LiquidityFX.
Circle is set to launch a cryptocurrency with a value pegged to the U.S. dollar — similar to Tether — after announcing a $110 million investment round dominated by cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain.
FAO: More about this yesterday.
Stan Schroeder – Mashable
TrueUSD, a cryptocurrency whose value is pegged to that of the dollar, has signed a deal with Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of volume.
Starting May 18, TrueUSD will be listed on Binance, allowing traders to exchange it for Ethereum, Bitcoin, or Binance Coin.
FAO: How many “USDs” can you count?
With the additions of Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Monero (XMR), users of deVere Crypto, deVere Group’s crypto platform app, can now buy, sell, store and exchange seven major cryptocurrencies. Existing digital coins on the app were Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Dash (DASH).
Stan Higgins – CoinDesk
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance announced the release of a common technical specification fulfilling a pledge the group made less than a month ago at an event in London.
Enterprise Ethereum Client Specification 1.0 comes weeks after Jeremy Millar, a founding board member of the 500-plus-member group, spoke about the importance of common standards as a way to connect development efforts across the enterprise-focused, ethereum-based initiative.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Decentralized web developer Blockstack is one step closer to its vision of web 3.0 with the introduction of app.co, a directory for decentralized applications or dapps. Co-founder Ryan Shea said the company was launching the resource, which is aimed at bridging the gap between decentralized app developers and potential users.
DNT: Looks like the open-source project will be free for developers, and Blockstack sees “this as a critical moment for decentralized application development and discovery,” Shea said, according to the story.
Julie Verhage & Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)
Jack Dorsey, speaking to a crowd of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, showed he was completely in sync with their view that digital currencies are the way of the future.
“The internet deserves a native currency; it will have a native currency,” Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter and Square said at Consensus. “I don’t know if it’ll be Bitcoin or not,” he said, but “I hope it will be.”
FAO: “Flower Power!”, “Power to the people!” <> PR & Media hype <>…Since we’re speaking about Dorsey, you might want to read today’s FinTech Daily News too.
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
Sberbank CIB, the corporate and investment banking business of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, conducted the first blockchain-based commercial bond transaction in Russia, according to a Sberbank announcement. The transaction was completed in partnership with MTS, a leading Russian telecoms operator, and the National Settlement Depository (NSD).
FAO: The transaction was executed using NSD’s Hyperledger Fabric 1.1-based blockchain platform. Sberbank launched its blockchain lab in January (more here).
Sankalp Phartiyal & Devidutta Tripathy – Reuters
India’s Infosys has formed a blockchain-based trade finance network with seven private-sector banks, to increase security and efficiency in the banking sector while also broadening its product offering.
FAO: And since we’re here we cannot omit to mention the recent announcement of HSBC which has performed the world’s first trade finance transaction using a single blockchain platform.
Nassia Matsa – Financial Times (subscription)
FAO: We shall but see…
Pareen Lathia – The Economic Times
What is this recent RBI ban?
Molly Jane Zuckerman – Cointelegraph
Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code. This is the latest step on the road to regulating cryptocurrency in the country, local news outlet Izvestia reports. (Ed. note – link in Russian).
Helen Partz – Cointelegraph
The Government of Bermuda has signed a MoU with Shyft network which provides blockchain-based ID solutions for KYC and AML compliant data transfers, Shyft reported in a blog post.
Marie Huillet – Cointelegraph
Co-founder of Binance crypto exchange He Yi has dismissed the sci-fi-esque claims of a Chinese fintech media platform that his company has hatched a so-called “Genesis Plan.” The plan was to build Binance’s own blockchain-powered country on a private island, QQ News reports. (Ed. note – link in Chinese).
FAO: There were a lot of utopians in the 60s and 70s too…
Josh Constine – TechCrunch
Compound wants to let you borrow cryptocurrency, or lend it and earn an interest rate. Most cryptocurrency is shoved in a wallet or metaphorically hidden under a mattress, failing to generate interest the way traditionally banked assets do.
Attracta Mooney & Nicholas Megaw – Financial Times (subscription)
Santander has scored a digital coup: the Spanish bank has become the first company in the world to use blockchain to make it easier for investors to vote at an annual meeting.
Jen Wieczner – Fortune
With concerns over data privacy reaching a fever pitch in the U.S. and Europe, major companies are proposing a new solution: Let customers control—and sell—their own data as they wish.
Janine Wolf – Bloomberg (subscription)
The value of cryptocurrencies is ultimately going to accrue to the token, not necessarily the operating business or cash flow of the networks, Union Square Ventures’ managing partner and co-founder Fred Wilson said at the 2018 Consensus Conference in New York.
FAO: “I don’t know how you can put the genie back in the bottle” – Brilliant!
Jim Pavia – CNBC
Many investors wonder when the right time will be to put some money in bitcoin. It’s a question that financial advisors increasingly hear these days.
Yet advisors, for the most part, don’t recommend investing in digital currency, or in the investment vehicles that have cropped up around it, at all. In fact, earlier this year, Merrill Lynch banned bitcoin buying across the firm.
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FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News