Today’s Highlights: Facebook decision to revers its ban on cryptocurrency ads has strong echoes, the SEC is seeking comment on yet another Bitcoin ETF, chat app Line to launch crypto exchange in July, Binance resumes operations after ‘Risk Warning’ & The Bank of England warns U.K. lenders.
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO) – Another interesting day @StartupCrypto School 2018, with discussions about tokenized equity and ICO vs. VC funding, then will attend a session of Rooftop Talks hosted by Deutsche Borse at their FinTech Hub. Oh, since I am here, just wanted to report that life goes on as usual in Germany even if they lost against South Korea yesterday…even if the Germans eat and breathe soccer.
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Anthony Cuthbertson – Independent
Facebook has reversed its controversial ban on cryptocurrency adverts, prompting further speculation that the tech giant may be planning something major in the space. The lifting of the ban – put in place in january amid fears that ads were used for fraud – was welcomed by industry figures, with some saying that it indicated the firm’s recognition of the potential of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Darryn Pollock – Cointelegraph
The social media giant has updated their policies to once again allow cryptocurrencies to advertise on Facebook, although it has continued its ban on ICOs. This move is being seen as a positive for the cryptocurrency space, which has earned back a major advertising platform on which it can reach a large number of users.
Kate Rooney – CNBC
The Berkshire Hathaway CEO made headlines this year calling bitcoin “rat poison squared” but he has been raising red flags about crypto for five years.A “mirage,” “not a currency,” and “tulips” are some of the descriptors Buffett has used for bitcoin, according to CNBC’s Warren Buffett Archive.The digital currency has dropped by roughly 70% since its high and is down more than 50% in 2018.
DNT: I would like to ask Mr. Buffet if he’s not tired of “hating” and if it isn’t, perhaps, the time for a little bit of (crypto) love? The cryptocurrencies surely need some, after the 70% fall.
Muyao Shen – CoinDesk
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is once again seeking comments on a potential bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund. The securities regulator called for comments on a proposal by the Cboe to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Shares, an ETF that was in turn proposed by the VanEck SolidX Bitcoin Trust, according to published documents
Pavel Alpeyev – Bloomberg (subscription)
Jon Russell – TechCrunch
Messaging app firm Line has confirmed it will launch a cryptocurrency exchange called
BitBox next month.The company said back in January that it planned to enter the crypto space with an exchange, but today it said that the BitBox service won’t be available for users in the U.S. and Japan — that’s presumably down to regulatory uncertainty.
William Suberg – Cointelegraph
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has resumed trading a day after suspending activities due to system upgrade, followed by a warning from their risk management system, a statement confirms. Trading at Binance, which usually ranks within the top three exchanges in the world by daily trading volume, ground to a halt Tuesday following a planned system upgrade.
Jan-Henrik Foerster – Bloomberg (subscription)
Niklas Nikolajsen and former UBS Group investment banker Philipp Vonmoos have set up a venture called Swiss Crypto Vault that aims to lure ultra-high net worth individuals and institutional investors with its “deep underground storage, state-of-the-art encryption, multi-signing authorization processes and many more security features.”
Jasper Jolly – City A.M.
Archax, a new trading platform for cryptocurrencies targeted at institutional investors will launch in London with David Lester,a former top executive at the London Stock Exchange on its board. Archax will aim to operate “in a regulated manner” – in an as yet unregulated space – in a bid to attract big investors who have been wary of investing in digital assets because of liquidity concerns and the high volatility of the biggest cryptocurrencies.tion
Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)
There’s an existential debate raging among Ether advocates even after regulators stated that the second-biggest cryptocurrency shouldn’t be considered a security. The discussion centers around whether users should be able to undo erroneous or faulty transactions, and if so, in which cases and who decides.Then there’s the broader question of how to decide on the answers in the first place. Thousands of software developers, miners and investors scattered across continents are struggling to sort this out, all while Ethereum continues to be the preferred platform for token sales raising billions of dollars
Omid Malekan – The New York Times
Since the advent of the first cryptocurrency nine years ago, professional money managers have almost universally dismissed it as a potential investment. Although many have come around on the power of the underlying technology, cryptocurrencies have often been ignored or ridiculed.
Via Forbes – Venture capitalist Rumi Morales, Former CME Ventures Head Joins Blockchain VC Firm
Nathaniel Popper – The New York Times
The blockchain is a technology that is supposed to be all about distributing power and information away from central authorities. But many individuals have been crucial in pushing the technology forward. Here is a look at some of the most influential people in the industry today.
Karen Gilchrist – CNBC
When Benson Wang discovered he could cut his business’ energy bills by 25% switching providers felt like a no-brainer.Three months later, he’s saved 900 Singapore dollars (around $660) — money he’s pumped back into his tapas restaurant.
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Laura Shin – The New York Times
In a parable from ancient India, six blind men touch different parts of an elephant, like its trunk, leg or tusk, and come up with wildly divergent ideas about what the animal is — a snake, for example, or a tree or a spear.And so it is with regulators in the rapidly evolving crypto space, who are coming up with wildly divergent ideas about what it is and how to regulate it.
John Glover & Edward Robinson – Bloomberg (subscription)
The Bank of England warned U.K. lenders to do their homework before diving into the business of cryptocurrencies.Banks are putting their reputations on the line when dealing with these volatile, relatively illiquid assets, and must ensure that their risk-management is up to speed, Sam Woods, head of the BOE’s Prudential Regulation Authority, said in a letter to chief executives.
Molly Jane Zuckerman – Cointelegraph
Malta approved three distributed ledger technology and crypto-related bills in their second reading in Parliament, according to legislative records from the plenary session. The approved bills include the Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Bill, the Virtual Financial Assets Bill, and the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill.
Financial Services Commission, the main financial agency of South Korea, has revealed a new crypto regulatory framework and guidelines pertaining to anti-money laundering and Know Your Customer requirements for crypto exchanges.
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Polina Marinova – Fortune
Despite talk of cryptocurrency projects being scams and/or pump and dump schemes, VCs were warming up to the idea because of profits and liquidity. That hypothesis is now becoming a reality.
Lily Katz & Annie Massa – Bloomberg (subscription)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has 130 cases tied to cryptocurrencies, according to an agent speaking at a digital-asset industry conference in New York. The cases “threat tagged” to virtual currencies encompass crimes such as human trafficking, illicit drug sales, kidnapping and ransomware attacks, according to Kyle Armstrong, a supervisory special agent.
Russell Brandom – The Verge
More than 40 alleged dark-web drug dealers have been arrested as part of a sweeping federal effort described by the Department of Justice as “the first nationwide undercover operation targeting dark net vendors.” The core of the operation was an online money-laundering business seized by agents from Homeland Security Investigations and operated as a sting for over a year.
Nathaniel Popper % Guilbert Gates
DNT: A useful story that maps some of the most ambitious blockchain projects companies and governments are working on.
Madeline Meng Shi – CoinDesk
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong wants to help unbanked individuals around the world gain access to financial services. The exchange’s co-founder announced he was launching a nonprofit organization to financially empower people and donate cryptocurrency to the unbanked worldwide. GiveCrypto.org aims to partner with other nonprofit entities to find potential recipients who could benefit from these cryptocurrency donations.
Liam Kelly – Wired
Last month, at the Seven on Seven conference in New York City, crypto entrepreneur Matt Liston and artist Avery Singer launched a blockchain church. Called 0xΩ, the religion was in fact a consensus protocol for the Ethereum’s blockchain. By contributing a stake in 0xΩ, Liston and Singer said, church members could vote on what best represents their religious identity. Practically, it would help collectives manage donations more democratically, reach agreements, and better identify honest leaders.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News