Today’s Highlights: Coinbase customers can now buy bitcoin with british pounds, Square sees profits from Bitcoin sales double in Q2, DLT platform Hedera Hashgraph completes $100 million raise, investment in the blockchain industry is booming in the U.S, & EU advisory body claims that blockchain innovation is at risk within the European Union
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO): A big THANK YOU for your kind words and thoughts after yesterday’s Koop Romania launch. We will keep you posted regarding the project’s development. If you have plans for starting a fintech/blockchain business in Romania, or if you intend to expand your business in this part of the world, don’t hesitate to contact our independent advisory firm, FO DIGI CAP. More about us here.
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Billy Bambrough – Forbes
Jeff John Roberts – Fortune
Coinbase said that customers in the United Kingdom can now buy digital assets with the British Pound. The news is significant because, until now, the company’s UK customers had to maintain their fiat funds in euros rather than pound sterling. This meant the process for buying Bitcoin and other digital currencies on Coinbase took several days and resulted in foreign exchange fees.
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
Mobile payments firm Square said it made $37m in revenue from bitcoin sales in Q2 of 2018.The company released an unaudited quarterly financial report which indicated it made an overall net revenue of $814m, 6% of which came from the cryptocurrency buying service added to its Cash App late last year.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Hedera Hashgraph has raised $100m in a new funding round. According to CEO and co-founder Mance Harmon, the funding will be used to finish developing and launching the startup’s network..Going forward, Harmon continued, the plan is to raise a further $20m through a ICO that will be open only to accredited investors.
Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Decentralized token exchange Radar Relay has completed a $10m Series A funding round. The funding effort was led by industry investment firm Blockchain Capital, the startup announced.
Benjamin Robertson – Bloomberg (subscription)
This year’s selloff in virtual currencies has done little to dent investor enthusiasm for ICOs, which attracted a record $12b in H1. That’s up from $7b for the whole of 2017 and a more than 50-fold jump from 2016, according to Autonomous Research.
Daniel Palmer – CoinDesk
Investment in the blockchain industry is booming in the U.S., according to “Big Four” auditing firm KPMG. The company’s “Pulse of Fintech 2018” report states that traditional venture capital investments in U.S.-based blockchain companies in H1 of this year have already exceeded the total for 2017, though it did not specify numbers.The impressive half-yearly figure was led by $100 million-plus funding rounds achieved by consortium startup R3 and crypto investment startup Circle Internet Finance, the report adds.
Daniel Mitchell – Hacked
The country of Vanuatu approved and delivered a ‘stock exchange license’ to a cryptocurrency exchange for the first time ever, according to reports coming from the platform in question. DSTOQ announced the public reveal of their project along with the claim of being “the first fully licensed stock exchange for trading security tokens and investing in real-world assets using cryptocurrencies.”
Alexandra Sayapina – Coinspeaker
OTC market is an important part of the crypto community, but the recent research claims that its volume has been underestimated. The dominance of the OTC trading can explain the difficulties of predicting movements of BTC and other cryptos.
Cole Petersen – News BTC
The Ethereum network has grown to be the second largest blockchain platform behind Bitcoin in a mere three years, all while changing the industry and allowing for new developments to be built on its blockchain network.
DNT: Ethereum was “born” in 30 July 2015. Happy anniversary to Ether, a cryptocurrency that definitely reshaped the cryotoverse!
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
Who’s using Bitcoin to buy and sell goods and services? A lot fewer people than you probably would have guessed. After peaking at $411m in September, the amount of money the largest 17 crypto merchant-processing services received in the best-known cryptocurrency has been on a steady decline, hitting a recent low of $60m in May, according to research that startup Chainalysis conducted for Bloomberg News.
Nikhilesh De – Coindesk
Blockchain economics and governance design startup Prysm Group has added Nobel Prize laureate Oliver Hart and former Microsoft chief economist Preston McAfee to its senior advisory board.
Voice of America News
Chinese internet users have found a way to get around government suppression of news by using blockchain technology.
Stan Higgins – CoinDesk
A newly released transcript from a SEC roundtable in June showcased the sometimes passionate discussion around cryptocurrencies within the agency.
In discussing Clayton’s work at the agency, Werner highlighted an instance in which he walked into a “heated” discussion between the SEC chairman and an unnamed attorney about bout cryptocurrency – while also stressing Clayton’s commitment to the issue in question.
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Valentina kirilova – LeapRate
Applied Blockchain, the UK developer of DLT and smart contracts, announced the opening of an office in Porto – its first non-UK office – to further strengthen its blockchain development and to fulfill the growing demand from clients internationally.
Marin Marinov – Cryptovest
The European Commission’s blockchain advisory body has warned that the EU’s lack of legal and regulatory certainty can stop blockchain development and the Union’s leading role in innovation. The European Blockchain Observatory and Forum published its first-ever report analyzing the blockchain industry in the Union and outlining several recommendations to the bloc.
David Canellis – The Next Web
It seems Ripple Labs is really into celebs. The company announced former US President, Bill Clinton, will be speaking at its annual Swell conference – but it appears the cryptocurrency community on Twitter is not all that impressed.
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Tanya Abrosimova – FX Street
Blockchain technology is the reality, though it might take time before it takes shape and develops to the point when it has a potential to impact business and the way we do things, the recent report by Roland Stadler from PwC Switzerland shows.
Rachel Wolfson – Forbes
According to Malta’s Junior Minister for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri, the passing of the recent laws makes Malta the first country to offer a holistic regulatory framework for DLT operations. In other words, these laws not only deal with digital currencies, ICOs, exchanges, etc. but also focus heavily on other DLT technologies that are not necessarily financially focused.
Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)
Long Blockchain Corp., the iced-tea company that rebranded itself with one of last year’s hottest buzzwords, was subpoenaed by the U.S. SEC.
The agency asked for certain documents, the company said in a regulatory filing, without disclosing further details.
Caitlin Ostroff – The Wall Street Journal
To make it easier for its overseas residents to vote, West Virginia tests system using the technology behind bitcoin
Paul Krugman – The New York Times
It comes down to two things: transaction costs and the absence of tethering. Let me explain. If you look at the broad sweep of monetary history, there has been a clear direction of change over time: namely, one of reducing the frictions of doing business and the amount of real resources required to deal with those frictions.
Aaron Stanley – Forbes
After 18 months of anticipation, the Treasury Department released on a seminal report examining the barriers to financial technology and innovation in the United States and proposing a sweeping set of recommendations designed to cut red tape and foster continued experimentation.
Kavita Gupta, Founding Managing Partner, ConsenSys Ventures, will discuss how Google is making a push into blockchain. She speaks on Bloomberg Markets with Pimm Fox and Bob Ivry.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News