Today’s Highlights: R3 is considering going public, more than three-quarters of ICOs were scams according to a report, billionaire Steven Cohen invests in crypto hedge fund, trading app Robinhood adds two new cryptocurrencies & OKCoin Exchange launches in US.
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO): Good news and bad news emerge in the cryptoverse today further fueling the roller coaster movements in crypto assets prices. There is a meeting next week, announced by U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, which we hope can bring more clarity and stability in this space. Elsewhere, rumours about R3 planning an IPO or a sale – not very surprising, considering their recently announced launch of Corda Enterprise and their further plans. Another pretty busy Friday edition – plenty of stories to keep you occupied over the weekend!
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Olga Kharif & Ruth David – Bloomberg (subscription)
R3 is considering going public, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is speaking with advisers about a initial public offering, although no final decisions have been made, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. It has also been approached by potential buyers, one person said. Founder and CEO David Rutter, along with R3 investors such as Intel and Bank of America Corp., will decide its course.
Christine Kim – CoinDesk
About half of the existing crypto-asset market today – numbering some 1,500 – functions on top of an existing blockchain like ethereum, according to a new report. The study from Satis Group, which forms part of a five-entry series analyzing the state of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, explores the state of what it calls “platform networks,” honing on ethereum as well as other blockchains like NEO, EOS and Cardano, among others. Yet for all of the growth around these crypto-assets, the report also came to a troubling conclusion: the vast majority of ICOs launched to date have proven to be fraudulent in nature.
FAO: #veryworrying We definitely need regulation in place.
Katrina Lewis – Bloomberg (subscription)
Billionaire Steven Cohen has invested in a hedge fund focusing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based companies, according to a person familiar with the matter. The investment was made through his Cohen Private Ventures, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is private.
Cindy Wang & Todd White – Bloomberg (subscription)
Binance is seeking to lay the groundwork for a new bank whose owners will be digital-coin investors. The crypto-friendly island of Malta will be home of the future Founders Bank, Binance said, adding that it has taken a 5% stake alongside other anchor investors at a 133 million-euro ($155 million) pre-money valuation, in emailed comments to Bloomberg.
Kate Rooney – CNBC
Stock trading app Robinhood will add litecoin and bitcoin cash to its no-fee app, which already lets users trade bitcoin and ethereum. The company says it topped 5 million users across the entire Robinhood platform, helped by “significant momentum generated over the last several months with the introduction of Options and Crypto.”
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
Cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin has launched a branch in the U.S. market offering trading services between U.S. dollars and several major cryptocurrencies. According to OKCoin, the exchange has already launched the new offering and is now accepting USD deposits and withdrawals, as well as trading against bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ethereum and ethereum classic.
Tim Copeland – News BTC
Crypto exchange Cobinhood has announced it is supporting fiat trading starting with the USD from July 20. The exchange, known for its zero-fee trading, is endorsed by U.S. football player Richard Sherman.
Miguel Gomez – Cryptovest
The recently launched EOS network went through some controversy in recent months due to concerns over what is perceived to be a more centralized model of blockchain governance. Despite this, one thing cannot be denied: its transaction volume capacity appears to be holding up to the hype.
Christine Kim – CoinDesk
IT giant Fujitsu is launching a new consultancy service that it claims will deliver a “ready-to-go” minimum viable product in just five days. According to The Register, prices for the service start at €9,900 and will include everything from basic introductory lessons on blockchain technology to assessments of the proposed use case and the building of a prototype by day five.
Chris Martin – Bloomberg (subscription)
Muyao Shen – CoinDesk
A municipal utility provider in New York got the green light from state regulators to create a new set of electricity rates for cryptocurrency miners. The move by the The New York State Public Service Commission was announced, allowing the Massena Electric Department to “allow high-density load customers, such as cryptocurrency companies, to qualify for service under an individual service agreement.”
Via CoinDesk – Tether hires former Bank of Montreal analyst Leonard Real as Chief Compliance Officer.
Robert Schmidt – Bloomberg (subscription)
Raj Date, a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deputy director turned venture capitalist is opening a consulting shop to help cryptocurrency and digital banking companies navigate Washington. Raj Date’s new firm, FS Vector, said in a statement that it will focus on regulatory, legislative and compliance issues.
Via Business Insider – Crypto exchange and advisory business bitcoin.com.au has hired Ben Ingram as its new CEO
DNT: Ingram previously worked at accounting and consulting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers, where he was a director in charge of digital strategy. His primary role at bitcoin.com.au will be in the development of crypto-based investment products, the story informs.
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Joe Wallen – Forbes
Pan-European banking services firm UniCredit has been involved in the launch of the first live trading platform run on blockchain technology. We.trade – which is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform and powered by Hyperledger Fabric – aims to provide a more cost-efficient way for companies and banks to trade internationally.
Tanya Chepkova – Cryptovest
Russia’s Alfa Bank JSC has taken part in a successful test of an innovative international blockchain platform aimed to facilitate the global exchange of data on corporate customers, the bank said in a press release. The new service is based on Corda platform.
Lara O’Reilly – The Wall Street Journal
Anheuser-Busch InBev, AT&T Inc., Kellogg Co., Bayer AG and Nestle SA are among advertisers that are starting to use the nascent technology to figure out whether their ads are viewed by real people, not computer-generated bots, and how much of their spending is siphoned off by middlemen.
Wolfie Zhao & Chuan Tian – CoinDesk
Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods giant that owns Cartier, is turning to blockchain in a move aimed to bring transparency to its supply chain. Jin Keyu, a renowned economist and an associate professor at the London School of Economics who was appointed by Richemont as a board member last year, said that the luxury giant aims to use blockchain to control all the “parallel markets.”
Nupur Anand – Quartz India
A month after India’s central bank accepted that it had cracked down on cryptocurrencies without much deliberation, it has finally spelled out the reasons for its uneasiness with bitcoin and the likes.
Ana Alexandre – CoinDesk
The Australian Bank of Queensland has banned property buyers from using home equity to buy cryptocurrencies, the Financial Review reported. The Bank of Queensland is reportedly the latest institution to bar credit lines from loans to be used for leveraged purchases or trading of cryptocurrencies.
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Markus Kasanmascheff – Cointelegraph
Kaspersky Lab’s security experts have found that cyber criminals were able to steal more than 21,000 in Ethereum (worth around $10 million) through social engineering schemes over the past year, Cointelegraph auf Deutsch reported (Ed. note – link in German).
Jordan Pearson – Motherboard
The idea of carrying around thousands of dollars or, hell, an entire saving account’s worth of cash in a tote bag or back pocket seems even wilder; it’s just too risky.
Tom Redmond & Min Jeong Lee – Bloomberg (subscription)
Mark Karpelès learned in June that he’s probably not going to become a Bitcoin billionaire. He calls that good news. If it had happened, he says, he would have been “one of the most hated people on Earth.” He presided over the collapse of Japan-based Mt. Gox—once the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange—and he’s now on trial in Tokyo for embezzlement and manipulation of records.
Muyao Shen – CoinDesk
Local police officials in China seized more than $1.5 million worth of cryptocurrencies as part of a crackdown on gambling during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Market Watch (video)
After co-founding the cryptocurrency Ethereum, Anthony Di Iorio founded Decentral, a blockchain hub for decentralized projects. Di Iorio talked to MarketWatch about how a blockchain-based digital wallet could enable anyone to ‘be your own bank.’
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief FinTech Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor FinTech Daily News