Today’s Highlights: Andreessen Horowitz is “investing aggressively” in crypto and tapps Katie Haun as its first female general partner, South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges struggle to find insurers, Tether releases $250 Mln in USDT, Japan’s Finance Minister wants to change crypto taxation and swiss blockchain voting platform begins trial.
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO) – My second day @StartupCrypto School 2018, a summer school jointly organized by The Frankfurt School Blockchain Center and the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center. Interesting discussions on the panels today too, covering, among other topics: future of ICOs, ICOs in the early stage investment process, legal aspects of ICOs in Europe and much more.
Editor Decebal Nicolaie Todarita (DNT) – We have quite a busy day in cryptoverse with a lot of hot topics, but the headline is Katie Haun’s appointment as the first female general partner for crypto in the history of Andreessen Horowitz. It’s a significant move, especially due to Haun’s background as U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor. She led the first government task force on cryptocurrencies and was also in charge of the investigations into Mt. Gox. But, the most important thing is that this move ends some speculations about Andreessen Horowitz gender-based hiring criteria.
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Tripti Lahiri – Forbes
A Renaissance mansion in the heart of Rome oozes Old World charm, but it’s going on sale this week in a very modern way. The 17,000 square foot mansion will be auctioned off on Thursday (June 28), with bids accepted in either US dollars or cryptocurrency via the blockchain-based property marketplace Propy. The reserve price is set at €38 million ($44 million, or around 7,200 bitcoin).
Ian Allison – CoinDesk
It may have seemed unthinkable four years ago, but crypto tokens might be coming to R3’s Corda. Cordite, an open-source community that’s independent from R3, but building solely on the code it pioneered, is about to come out of stealth mode. Cordite promises to do for enterprise blockchains what the ERC-20 standard did for ethereum: allow the creation of different tokens representing various kinds of assets on the same network.
Alex Konrad – Forbes
Julie Verhage – Bloomberg (subscription)
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Andreessen Horowitz is “investing aggressively” in crypto, even as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have dropped by more than 50% this year. The company raised $300 million for its first crypto-focused fund and is bringing on its first female general partner, former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor Katie Haun, to lead the effort.
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Circle, one of the best-funded blockchain start-ups, saw a 30% uptick in institutional investors on-boarding to its “Circle Trade” platform in May, when bitcoin was down 20%.
To match demand, the company is using more automation on its platform, catering to high-frequency trading and bigger block orders.
Kyle Baird ·- Bitcoinist
Due to recent security breaches and thefts among some large-scale cryptocurrency exchange platforms, the need for exchange insurance is booming. Many insurance companies, however, are hesitant to take the risk — citing their distrust in current security measures.
Frank Chaparro – Business Insider
Robinhood, the California broker known for pioneering free stock-trading, is looking to dive deeper into the market for digital currencies. And Coinbase, one of the largest platforms for crypto trading, should be worried, market observers tell Business Insider.
Kellie Ell – CNBC
Bitcoin bounced back but blockchain venture capitalist Spencer Bogart says bitcoin might fall again as the fund redemption cycle for many crypto hedge funds complete their one-year cycle.”That means forced selling on behalf of all of these new crypto funds that have popped up,” Bogart says. “I think that could take prices artificially lower.
DNT: At the time of writing BTC was trading around $6,210.
Molly Jane Zuckerman – Cointelegraph
Stablecoin Tether, which is allegedly backed 1:1 by the US dollar, has issued 250 million more tokens according to data from Omni Explorer. The move also was met with backlash from critics on Twitter about the controversy surrounding the stablecoin’s lack of an official public audit to confirm the legitimacy of its claims to be backed by fiat.
DNT: At the end of March, Tether had released 300 million tokens, leading to a small price increase for Bitcoin – details here, Cryptocurrencies section. In mid-February, Tether had released 86 mln in euro-backed EURT and 61.1 mln in US dollar-based USDT on the Ethereum Blockchain – details here, Cryptocurrencies section as well.
Annaliese Milano – CoinDesk
Tron, the $3 billion decentralized internet project, may have gone live but its full “independence” from the ethereum blockchain isn’t yet complete. Although Monday was intended to serve as an “Independence Day” celebration marking both the official launch of its mainnet and the completion of its departure from its former host, ethereum, the project has only achieved the former.
Via CoinDesk – Crypto Exchange Huobi poaches app exec Frank Fu to lead new US branch
DNT: According to the story, Frank Fu is the former MD of Meitu’s global business, will join the U.S. exchange as CEO, and will manage its operations and oversee the platform’s technology development going forward.
Via The Trade – LSEG’s former strategy chief David Lester, backs crypto startup exchange Archax as an advisor and non-executive director
Justina Lee – Bloomberg (subscription)
By day, Paul Angus is an engineer. But by night, he’s Cryptonomatron: a producer of hot takes on the latest ICOs who has more than 8,000 subscribers on YouTube. The 43-year-old Scot’s online alter-ego is mostly a labor of love, yet it sometimes comes with an added perk: payment in digital tokens.
Madeline Meng Shi – CoinDesk
Authorities in China have arrested a man for allegedly stealing a significant amount of power in order to fuel a clandestine cryptocurrency mine.Police in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui Province seized more than 200 computers used for bitcoin and ether mining after the local power grid company reported a spike in electricity use, according to Xinhua news agency.
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Matthew Allen – Swissinfo
The town of Zug, situated at the heart of Switzerland’s self-styled Crypto Valley, has launched a trial blockchain voting system that could be rolled out to cover public votes in future years.
Molly Jane Zuckerman – Cointelegraph
Japan’s Minister of Finance thinks that it is doubtful the public would accept a change in the taxation of cryptocurrency transactions. During Upper House Budget Committee meeting, Senator Fujimaki asked Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso whether crypto transactions should be taxed via a “separate settlement taxation,” rather than their present classification as “miscellaneous income.”
Muyao Shen – CoinDesk
Spain’s securities markets watchdog and a group of financial institutions including Banco Santander have completed a blockchain pilot aimed at testing the tech for registering stock warrant issuances.
Muyao Shen – Cointelegraph
The Bank for International Settlements’ economic adviser and head of research Hyun Song Shin has said that cryptocurrencies should be treated the same as stocks and bonds. Shin said:”If people pay to hold the tokens for financial gain, then arguably they should be treated as a security and come under the same rigorous documentation requirements and regulation as other securities offered to investors for a return.”
Tech in Asia
Zilliqa, a public blockchain network, hit its billion-dollar market cap in May this year, a little under a year since its founding. It is one of the first Singapore-based blockchain startups to achieve the feat.
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Alyssa Hertig – CoinDesk
A long-held bitcoin secret is about to be revealed.No, it’s not the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, it’s a private key the cryptocurrency’s creator entrusted to several bitcoin developers that activates the protocol’s so-called “alert system,” once used to flash a text warning to those running the software in case something happened that could impact the security of their funds.
Thomas Hale – FT Alphaville (subscription)
A venerable institution like the Bank of England must be wary of appearing too, well, venerable. Especially in an era of supposedly unprecedented technological innovation. Because if you don’t innovate, you will, definitely, die.
William McInnes – Financial Review
Bitcoin is a fascinating development, its design is admirable but it’s not money and as an investment it’s highly risky, warned the Reserve Bank of Australia’s head of payments policy Tony Richards.
JP Mangalindan – Yahoo Finance
Cryptocurrencies are the future.That’s what Robinhood co-CEO Baiju Bhatt believes, so much so that sovereign nations will one day make cryptocurrencies their default currencies.
“I think it’s inevitable, whether that happens next year or in the next 15 years,” Bhatt said.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News