Blockchain Daily News – Edition 212, 18.05.2018
May 18, 2018
Blockchain Daily News – Edition 214, 22.05.2018
May 22, 2018

Blockchain Daily News – Edition 213, 21.05.2018

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new product, the DIGI CAP NEWS mobile app, now available on Android – you can install it here. Please note that the iPhone version will be made available in due course.

DIGI CAP NEWS is dedicated to investors and professionals active in global financial markets infrastructure. The service delivers curated news and information, with additional analysis and insight and it covers global financial markets, with main focus on fintech, blockchain and the crypto universe.

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Starting May 25th, 2018 we will stop publishing the email version of Blockchain Daily News.

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Events

18-19 June 2018, New Delhi, India – our Publisher and Editor-in-chief, Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO), is invited to speak at the 6th Annual Meeting of The Growth Net, 18-19 June 2018, at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi, India. Join him for a constructive debate about the impact of blockchain technology beyond the use of cryptocurrencies. Being a reader of our daily publications you now have the opportunity of buying discounted tickets – more HERE (do note that a significant discount is applied!).

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25-29 June 2018, Frankfurt, Germany –  Blockchain Daily News, is 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.

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.

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Fans’ Section

Financial Heavyweights Pour Scorn On Bitcoin

Chris Newlands – Financial News (subscription)

Some of the biggest names in finance have lambasted the bitcoin market and poured scorn on the meteoric rise of the digital currency, calling it one of the “greatest scams” in financial history. Renowned fund managers including investment guru Mark Mobius and Davide Serra, the founder of UK hedge fund Algebris Investments, have likened the bitcoin market to a ‘Ponzi scheme’ used to propagate criminal activity.

FAO: Fresh new faces to fight “cryptos”.

Banks Will Trade Cryptocurrency Sooner Than People Think, Says Amber Baldet

Kate Rooney – CNBC

Former head of J.P. Morgan’s blockchain arm is no longer on Wall Street. But the former insider says major banks like her former employer could get into the cryptocurrency business imminently.

FAO: Better tell that to Mark Mobius and other members of the latest “gang” of critics…

Exchanges & Trading Venues

Cryptocurrency Firms Explore Getting Bank Licenses

Ryan Tracy – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Coinbase and Ivy Koin talked to U.S. regulators about the possibility of obtaining banking licenses, a move that would allow the startups to broaden the types of products they offer. Coinbase met with officials at the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in early 2018, according to a person familiar with the matter.

FAO: Yip, Coinbase again. Does it surprise you? Don’t think so, considering its latest strategic moves, especially towards launching new products and services for institutional investors…Use our FREE ARCHIVE to check previous reports.

Novogratz’s Plan For A Crypto Merchant Bank Gets A Break – And A Delay

Doug Alexander – Bloomberg (subscription)

Mike Novogratz’s plan for a publicly traded crypto merchant bank is taking a little longer than expected. Canadian regulators gave his Galaxy Digital LP an exemption from providing annual financial statements for the last two years, but they’re requiring audited disclosures from this year before allowing a listing and trading on Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange, the New York-based firm said in a statement.

LMAX Exchange Seeks To Win Big From Trading Cryptocurrencies

Philip Stafford – Financial Times (subscription)

LMAX Launches First Institutional Crypto-Exchange

David Kimberley – Finance Magnates

The LMAX Exchange Group and owner of the LMAX Exchange, announced that it has launched the first institutional cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange, which is called LMAX Digital, will enable institutional investors to trade in five different cryptocurrencies.

FAO: I think it’s pertinent to say that this space (products and services dedicated to institutional investors) starts to become a bit crowded, considering the current size of the “cryptoverse”…

Cryptocurrencies

Tether Mints $250 Mln Of New USDT Tokens, Rekindles Controversy

Maxwell William – Cointelegraph

The controversial stablecoin Tether generated $250 million worth of new USDT tokens on May 18, according to Omni Explorer.Tether is the company that issues the so-called stablecoins USDT, which it claims are backed at 1:1 ratio by US dollars. Tether has been criticized for its lack of transparency after it broke ties with auditing firm Friedman LLP before an official audit could be conducted.

Dollar Token Is Future of Internet Of Money, Circle Co-Founder, Sean Neville, Says

Bloomberg video

Sean Neville, Circle co-founder and president, discusses the company’s U.S. dollar token and his views on blockchain technology with Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde on “Bloomberg Technology.”

FAO: Last week Circle raised $110m, in a round led by Bitmain, and announced the plans to create a new cryptocurrency pegged to the price of the USD – USD Coin (USDC). In February Circle bought crypto-to-crypto exchange Poloniex, which currently lists USDT tokens. Will we witness the replacement of USDT with USDC on Poloniex? Will other exchanges follow the move? Share your thoughts on our Linkedin & Telegram groups.

Coincheck Exchange Bans Monero Amid Japan’s Crackdown On Anonymous Currencies

Sputnik News

Monero and three other cryptocurrencies have fallen victim to the Japanese Financial Services Agency’s new policy aimed at banning all cryptocurrencies that offer significant anonymity.

FAO: Monex, which bought Coincheck last month for $34m, is dropping privacy coins from the offering. This might represent a strategic move prior to securing a license in Japan and to entering new markets like the US or even the EU.

Vendors

Parity Forced To Shut Down Ico Passport Service (PICOPS) Due To GDPR

Osato Avan – Nomayo – Bitcoinist

Parity, the wallet and blockchain provider, is shutting down its PICOPS platform effective May 24, 2018, due to complications stemming from the new EU GDPR guidelines.

BitPeople

Grammy-Winning Fugees Founder Pras Michel Bringing Blockchain To Your Smartphone

Kate Rooney – CNBC

Founding member of the Fugees Pras Michel is launching a blockchain-enabled smartphone that lets users earn dividends on every purchase.The $300 smartphone launches this fall and is a part of Michel’s digital platform Blacture.

9 Star Lawyers Helping Blockchain Companies Navigate The Tricky Waters Of Cryptocurrency Regulation

Becky Peterson – Business Insider (subscription)

Considering bitcoin’s origins as a decentralized technology designed to disrupt the world banking system, it’s no surprise that the cryptocurrency community has a rather tepid relationship with financial regulators like the SEC.

Via Bitcoinist Former Visa CEO Marc O’Brien joins cryptocurrency startup Crypterium making payment cards.

Latest Developments & Agreements

Lightspeed Is Plotting A New Crypto Investing Project Led By One Of Its Partners

Theodore Schleifer – Recode

Lightspeed, the firm behind hits like Snap, has been exploring three different options as part of an effort led by partner Aaron Batalion to drastically scale up the firm’s activity in the space.

Tokenization Of Shares – VC Firm Morgan Creek Blockchain Capital Converts Company Stock To Cryptocurrency Token

Osato Avan – Nomayo – Bitcoinist

Morgan Creek Blockchain Capital is taking tokenization to the next level. The VC firm is set to convert paper shares of a company into digital token assets. These assets will then be issued to raise capital for the business.

Regulation

Poland Suspends Decision Of Taxing Cryptocurrency Transactions

Aziz Abdel-Qader – Finance Magnates

Poland’s finance ministry published an update of the country’s tax ‎code, stating that it will not tax income from transactions on ‎cryptocurrencies.‎ The MoF justified its taxing decision by stating that it considers conducting an in-depth analysis to better regulate the emerging industry.‎

Thailand Temporarily Bans ICOs, Waives Cryptocurrency Tax

Dieter Holger – Bitcoinist

Following new cryptocurrencies regulations, Thailand is grappling with how to regulate and tax the burgeoning market as the public weighs in. The Thai government will waive the previously planned 7% value-added tax for individual cryptocurrency investors and temporarily prohibit any new ICOs.

It’s Going To Be A Summer Of Uncertainty For India’s Cryptocurrency Industry

Nupur Anand – Quartz

The fate of Indian cryptocurrency exchanges continues to be in a limbo as they await clarity from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the country’s top court.

FAO: BTW, join me at the 6th Annual Meeting of The Growth Net, 18-19 June 2018, at the Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi, India. You have the opportunity of buying discounted tickets – more HERE (do note that a significant discount is applied!).

Accelerators & Hubs

Singapore Leading The Way In Blockchain Introduction

Finews Asia

There are as many as 50 startups that are working on blockchain-based technologies in Singapore. That should help making financial transactions and processes more transparent, resilient and at a lower cost.

Analysis

Why Are There So Many Russians In Crypto?

John Detrixhe – Quartz

No country can claim to be at the center of the crypto world, though many would like to. Bitcoin, after all, was designed to be a stateless digital currency. Ethereum’s deepest thinkers are a roving band of Airbnb-surfing programmers scattered around the world.

But even if there’s no central hub for crypto development, Russian programmers have an outsize presence in the world of virtual assets.

FAO: The latest piece sent by our reader and friend – John Detrixhe. Read the piece and share your thoughts on our Linkedin & Telegram groups.

DNT: Hmmm, maybe because blockchain belongs or will belong to the Russians…:) .At least according to Russian spy Grigory Marshalko, who said “The internet belongs to the Americans — but blockchain will belong to us,” – details here, Opinion section.

Bitcoin: Why Coinbase’s Cryptocurrency Assets Could Grow 50%

Fortune

Coinbase, the largest U.S. Bitcoin exchange, launched new professional-grade trading products for institutional investors this week, citing rising demand for cryptocurrency from smart money heavyweights.

These Tech Revolutions Are Further Away Than You Think

Joshua Brustein – Bloomberg

Sooner Than You Think issue looks at a lot of AI technology that’s coming soon, but here are a few things in the broader tech world that are likely further off than the hype often suggests.

Barely Any Bitcoin Left In Ark ETFs

Cinthia Murphy – CNBC

The ARK Innovation ETF has been on a tear and recently took home ETF of the Year honors at an ETF.com annual event. A big bet on bitcoin was part of the reason for the ARK ETF’s massive performance. Now the ETF has sold most of its bitcoin holdings, but the company says not because it doesn’t believe in the cryptocurrency.

Other news

Riot Blockchain’s SEC Subpoena Part Of Formal Investigation

Jennifer Schlesinger, Scott Zamost, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Hannah Kliot & Ritika Shah – CNBC

Riot Blockchain, the cryptocurrency company whose stock skyrocketed after changing its name revealed that the SEC subpoena it received on April 9 was “pursuant to a formal order of investigation,” according to a new filing.

A Floating Pacific Island Is In The Works With Its Own Government…

CNBC video

The pilot program is in partnership with the government of French Polynesia. It will see 300 homes built on an island that runs under its own governance, using a cryptocurrency called Varyon.

Opinion

What The Hell Is Facebook Doing On The Blockchain?

Gian Volpicelli – Wired  

Mark Zuckerberg upping Facebook’s blockchain operation could be PR obfuscation blinder, or it could be something far juicer.

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

DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News