Today’s Highlights: NYSE-Owner ICE to form new company for digital assets, Starbucks clarifies that it is not accepting bitcoin, a summer stock sell-off is a ‘risk too big to ignore, Ethereum acquires top-Level domain name with new partnership, Coinbase Custody is expanding its custodial services, & a lot more!
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO): As previously anticipated (check at least these two editions of Blockchain Daily News, one dated Dec 7th 2017 and the other Dec 13th 2017) ICE is making its entrance in the cryptoverse. As also mentioned back then, Jeff Sprecher is a “very patient hunter”. We have “studied” his behaviour back when we were editing a daily newsletter focused mainly on exchanges. The crypto market is now mature enough to support the entry of such a player. This move will force Nasdaq and other global players in the exchange universe to announce much clearer plans/initiatives in this direction and to take action, as nobody would want to position as an industry laggard. Standards are being set in the cryptoverse and history is written right under our eyes. The race is on! You can now see why Coinbase (check today’s Exchanges section for two more announcements from Coinbase) and Circle, among others, have pushed it to their limits in the last six months…Use your (still free) Archive, it’s a useful tool.
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Nick Baker & Lily Katz – Bloomberg (subscription)
Muyao Shen – CoinDesk
John McCrank & Anna Irrera – Reuters
Intercontinental Exchange, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, said on it plans to form a company and trading platform for digital assets, such as bitcoin, as well as a physically delivered bitcoin futures contract.
Press release here.
Business Insider (subscription)
David Mercer, the founder of UK trading firm LMAX, is typically critical of the futures markets for cryptocurrency. But he, like many other experts, saw news that the parent company of the NYSE was launching Bakkt, a crypto ecosystem, as a positive step to the market. But it’s not the fact that the platform might make it possible for someone to convert their crypto into USD to buy a latte at Starbucks that has Wall Streeters excited. It’s something a bit more pedantic to the non-trading wonk.
Chloe Aiello – CNBC
Starbucks going all-in on cryptocurrency is “the biggest news of the year for bitcoin,” because it paves the way for a bitcoin ETF, according to BK Capital Management founder Brian Kelly. Kelly said this development strikes at the heart of many cryptocurrency critics who argue cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin or ether, are impractical.
Kira Bindrim – Quartz
Yes, Starbucks is getting into crypto—just not at the cash register. At least not yet.
Natasha Turak – CNBC
Supercharged U.S. economic growth is distracting too many investors from the real dangers of a trade war to equity markets, a research firm said in a report this week, warning of a potential sell-off in stocks as early as this summer. “Markets are far too complacent about trade war risks,” investment strategy and macro research firm TS Lombard wrote in a client note.
FAO: Read the ICE announcement and the related media hype? Read the above analysts’ warning? Any thoughts? Just one thought here, have another read of our opinion dated February...State your mind – use our community groups on Facebook, Linkedin & Telegram groups. Catch you there
Edward Kelso – Bitcoin.com
Alex Wilhelm – Crunchbase
While the domestic technology sector has its eyes on Arlo’s IPO another offering with a similar name is generating excitement in the blockchain sector. Argo, a crypto-focused company, went public on the London Stock Exchange raising 25 million pounds in the process.
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
Ethereum has entered into an agreement with a provider of end-to-end domain services Minds + Machines Group Limited that will let Ethereum Name Service get a top-level domain name, according to a press release.
Julio Gil-Pulgar – Bitcoinist
Coinbase Custody is expanding its custodial services to include dozens of additional crypto assets, like XRP, EOS, and Monero. Coinbase is enhancing the custodial services to allow its institutional clients to securely store large amounts of cryptocurrencies.
Daniel Palmer – CoinDesk
Coinbase Commerce – the startup’s non-custodial cryptocurrency payment solution for merchants – has now launched a plugin for popular e-commerce platform WooCommerce.
Eugene Kim – CNBC
Square disclosed in its latest quarterly report that it’s moved off of public exchanges and is now trading through private brokers for its bitcoin app. Cryptocurrency experts say the move will make Square’s bitcoin trading app a more sophisticated service. Square still isn’t making much money off its bitcoin service, reporting $400,000 in profit on $37 million of revenue in Q2.
UPbit, currently the biggest crypto exchange in South Korea, came out clean in an audit report which proved the exchange had 100% of the amount its balance sheet demonstrated.
Josh Constine – TechCrunch
Crypto skeptics rejoice! A new way to short the cryptocurrency market is coming from dYdX, a decentralized financial derivatives startup. In two months it will launch its protocol for creating short and leverage positions for Ethereum and other ERC20 tokens that allow investors to amp up their bets for or against these currencies.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide
Bitcoin Exchange Guide recently wrote an article about how CoinMarketCap was displaying a glitch in which most virtual currencies registered extraordinary gains. Indeed, some of them were shown more than 1,000% times their real price. About it CoinMarketCap wrote a tweet in which they explain what happened with the platform. Apparently, there was a price calculation error on Tether and caused listings with a Tether market to be inflated artificially
The controversial “stablecoin” known as Tether has certainly had an interesting past few months. Company founders say the token is backed by physical USD at a 1-to-1 ratio, which has sparked immense discussion and debate inside of the cryptocurrency community.
Beth Thomas Hertz – Crain’s
North Canton tech company Squirrels has spun off a sister company to enter the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. The new company, Squirrels Research Labs was formed in spring but planning for it began last fall, said Andrew Gould, Squirrels COO and co-founder.
Adi Ignatius – Harvard Business Review
Maxwell William – Cointelegraph
JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon was bullish on blockchain tech, but shied away from commenting on cryptocurrency, saying fiat payment apps are “the biggest potential disruption to our business” in an interview published in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review.
FAO: Awww, the guy is just too shy to discuss cryptos now…Did he blush too??
The latest quarterly skills index by global freelancing website Upwork shows that the fastest growing skill in the United States during Q2 was blockchain.
According to the Q2 2018 Upwork Skills Index, blockchain clinched this position by beating over 5,000 other skills listed on one of the largest freelancing platforms in the world.
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Jonathan Shieber – TechCrunch
Sometimes smart contracts can be pretty dumb. All of the benefits of a cryptographically secured, publicly verified, anonymized transaction system can be erased by errant code, malicious actors or poorly defined parameters of an executable agreement.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide
Despite the growing popularity of blockchain technology and its transformative capabilities, there is a massive disparity in the way different jurisdictions deal with this innovation. In this regard, some governments are welcoming, others are equivocal, and some are unwelcoming.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide
Arizona Opens Applications for First Fintech Sandbox. Arizona’s legislature developed a bill (Bill 2434) allowing fintech startups to experiment, without having to deal with regulatory burdens. After passage of the bill, the Arizona Attorney General is accepting applications from Fintech companies, blockchain companies, mortgage companies, and more.
The Telangana State Information Technology, Electronics and Communication department has signed an MoU with digital transformation services provider Tech Mahindra to launch India’s first Blockchain District Telangana.
Ana Alexandre – Cointelegraph
Turkey has established the country’s first university-level blockchain center, aiming to close the blockchain expertise gap and ensure wide deployment of the technology. The Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center was inaugurated at Bahçeşehir University.
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Hans Hauge – Seeking Alpha
New startup Bakkt is founded by the owners of ICE and backed by Microsoft, Starbucks and the Boston Consulting Group. Bakkt is launching this November, and plans to make Bitcoin a mainstream currency and a stable investment vehicle. Bakkt will provide a regulated exchange for institutional investors, but also plans to replace credit cards and get Bitcoin into people’s 401k plans.
Kate Rooney – CNBC
The investment bank highlighted “cryptocurrency mania” as one of six factors creating an unsteady undertow affecting markets for the remainder of 2018. Goldman expects even more price declines for bitcoin, even after the cryptocurrency lost 50% of its value this year.
The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Dozens of trading groups are manipulating the price of cryptocurrencies on some of the largest online exchanges, generating at least $825 million in trading activity over the past six months — and hundreds of millions in losses for those caught on the wrong side.
Bitcoin Exchange Guide
Most secure wallet of the world? Maybe not so much anymore. Ledger, the leading software and hardware developers for crypto wallets, has faced technical issues this week. The company stated that the issues triggered losses for its Ethereum Chrome app and caused disruptions across the ETH and ETC network.
Olga Kharif – Bloomberg (subscription)
As the cryptocurrency’s price soared in recent years, Bitcoin’s Old Money and New Money coexisted with only occasional conflict. But this year, a prolonged slump has wiped out more than $100 billion in wealth, and the ensuing panic over how to stabilize the currency has incited a Gatsby-esque class war.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News