Today’s Highlights: Cryptoverse shaked by SEC’s decision to postpone decision on Bitcoin ETF, Bitmain hits $15 billion valuation, Coinbase adds instant trading and increases daily limits, Ohio becomes latest US state to legally recognize blockchain data and the ratio of legal to illegal activity in Bitcoin has flipped.
Editors’ thoughts today:
Editor-in-chief Florin Adrian Oprea (FAO): Vacation time. It shows. One “average bad” story out there, markets are down aggressively. Or is it something else? You tell me, join the DIGI CAP NEWS community on our Facebook, Linkedin & Telegram groups
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Rachel Evans – Bloomberg (subscription)
Eric Lam – Bloomberg (subscription)
Cryptocurrencies slumped with Bitcoin tumbling below $6,500 for the first time since July, after the U.S. SEC postponed a decision on whether to allow the listing of an ETF backed by the largest digital currency.
Yohay Elam – FXStreet
The ups and downs in the prospects of a Bitcoin ETF have rocked cryptocurrencies. So far, requests have been rejected, but a lot of progress has been made.
DNT: This is a very useful story that provides important information about about the much discussed Bitcoin ETF topic.
Marie Huillet – Cointelegraph
Bitcoin mining behemoth Bitmain is now valued at $15b after closing a pre-IPO funding round with backing from high-profile investors. The fresh financing deal, notably includes investments from Chinese tech conglomerate Tencent and Japan’s Softbank, another tech giant whose 15% stake in Uber makes it the drive-hailing app’s largest shareholder.
Tech In Asia
Singapore-based startup Rate has raised US$15m in a token sale for its blockchain project Rate3. The company’s ICO, which ran from April 16 to May 22, hit its hard cap target of 25,000 ether. Open to the public as well as private investors, the ICO saw participation from Matrix Partners China, Node Capital, and FBG Capital, as well as Fenbushi Capital founder Bo Shen.
Anatol Antonovici – Cryptovest
China’s crypto mining company Bitmain Technology invested $3m in tribeOS, a digital advertising platform developed on the Bitcoin Cash blockchain network. The company aims to help advertisers and publishers stay away from ad frauds and share ads and data in a secure manner. TribeOS revealed that the funds would go to building the company’s team and development of the marketplace, which is planned to be launched next year.
Taylor Hatmaker – TechCrunch
Coinbase just announced two new perks that should please regular cryptocurrency traders. New Coinbase users will no longer have to wait for five days to trade after signing up for the exchange.
Kieran Smith – Brave New Coin
With the third largest market cap of all cryptocurrencies, XRP has struck a chord with investors. But as appealing as it is to some, it is equally distasteful to others. Denounced as a ‘bankers coin’ by crypto purists, but lauded by its supporters as a practical solution to the problems faced by bitcoin, XRP has divided the crypto community.
Rosalie Stafford-Langan – Financial News
This time a year ago, one bitcoin was worth around $3,500. Today, it is closer to $7,000. That does not, of course, come close to the whole story. Over the past year, the price of the world’s number one digital currency almost touched $20,000 and has suffered some very steep falls since.
DNT: A story in which Financial News “looks at how the world’s biggest finance houses are approaching the rise of digital money”
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
A blockchain startup that sets out to offer cross-blockchain payments has announced it is planning to bring its existing stablecoin – a cryptocurrency tied to a stable asset – to the EOS network. Called Havven, the Australia-based project said in a release that it is expecting to issue its nUSD stablecoin on EOS by the end of this year. The U.S. dollar-pegged token first launched on the ethereum network in June.
Christine Kim & Nikhilesh De – CoinDesk
Bitcoin mining hardware giant Bitmain is officially setting up shop in Rockdale, Texas, and expects to launch mining operations early next year. The firm confirmed that it is investing $500m over the next seven years into a new blockchain data center in the U.S. state as part of its “strategic investment and expansion plans within North America.”
Reuters Staff – Reuters
Former U.S. SEC chairman Arthur Levitt and former Federal Deposit Insurance Corp chairman Sheila Bair have joined the board of advisors of cryptocurrency trading platform Omniex.
Yolanda Bobeldijk – Financial News
A crypto hiring spree? In the City, bitcoin is a bit like Marmite: you either love it or hate it. But as controversial as bitcoin might be, the truth is that there are already thousands of institutional cryptocurrency professionals in the City. It’s hard to put an exact figure on it but Tim Dobie, managing consultant at Harrington Starr, said “It’s now in the thousands — easily”.
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Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
A subsidiary of China’s first web-only insurer, ZhongAn Insurance, says it has put the data of 760,000 diamonds on a blockchain. ZhongAn Technology, which is publicly listed in Hong Kong, announced the launch of its gem-tracking blockchain application, saying that the project was created to achieve a higher level of traceability in the luxury industry.
Donie O’Sullivan – CNN
Rachel Kraus – Mashable
A new pilot program in West Virginia aims to take voting into the technological future. In doing so, the state has cast its eye toward one of the most popular tech buzzwords of 2018.
West Virginia has contracted the Boston company Voatz to enable voting via smartphone for troops overseas in the 2018 midterm elections, according to CNN.
Dean Takahashi – Venturebeat
Swiss startup Liquineq has come up with a bank funds transfer platform that uses blockchain for security and scales to millions of transactions per second for both commercial and consumer purposes. That could bring the technological advantages of blockchain into the traditional banking system.
Wolfie Zhao – CoinDesk
Ohio has become the latest U.S. state to legally recognize data stored and transacted on a blockchain. The news comes after lawmakers from the state introduced a bill in May that sought to treat blockchain data and smart contracts as electronic records in a bid to provide safe harbor for the emerging technology.
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Camila Russo – Bloomberg (subscription)
The ratio of legal to illegal activity in Bitcoin has flipped, according to Lilita Infante at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.When Infante started seeing the Bitcoin pop up in her cases at the DEA five years ago, her analysis of blockchain data showed criminal activity was behind about 90% of transactions in the cryptocurrency. Now, illegal activity has shrunk to about 10% and speculation has become the dominant driver, she said.
DNT: That’s good news. On the other hand, the next story is quite a different approach…even if that is about a different type of crime.
Osato Avan-Nomayo – Bitcoinist
With the increasing popularity of digital assets, more sophisticated means are being developed to obtain ownership of these highly sought-after coins illegally. A recent study has put the United States at the heart of global cryptocurrency crime. The study also reports that cybercriminals have attacked all top cryptocurrency exchange platforms.
Robert McMillan – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
Iranian hackers are developing software attacks that render computer systems inoperable until a digital ransom is paid, a new report says, a threat that comes as the U.S. moves to reimpose tough economic sanctions on the country.
Ken Krupa – Traders Magazine
No doubt, blockchain adoption and deployment has been overly hyped, but the distributed ledger technology will ultimately prove useful – and even transformational – to many industries, including financial services.
FAO: Florin Adrian Oprea, Editor-in-chief Blockchain Daily News
DNT: Decebal Nicolaie Todarita, Editor Blockchain Daily News