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Blockchain Daily News

by Florin Oprea

Edition #4, 25.05.2017

Deals, Investments & M&As

Naspers Pours $5m Into Coins, A Fintech Startup For Southeast Asia’s Unbanked Population

Jon Russell – Tech Crunch

Naspers is making a push into bitcoin and financial services after it backed Philippines-based startup Coins.ph to the tune of $5 million.

Coins is focused on offering financial services for the unbanked in the Philippines and Thailand. It uses the blockchain as its underlying technology to facilitate transfers and remittances. It announced the new funding — which comes via the Naspers Ventures division — as an extension to the $5 million Series A round that it closed last October.

Tudor’s Jones Said to Back AI Hedge Funds CargoMetrics, Numerai

Simone Foxman – Bloomberg Quint

The hedge fund manager has invested in CargoMetrics Technologies, an investment firm that uses tools such as satellite signals and shipping data to trade commodities, currencies and equity futures. He’s also backed Numerai, a San Francisco-based hedge fund that makes wagers using anonymously submitted models.

FAO: Numerai transforms and regularizes financial data into machine learning problems for global network of data scientists.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Agreement Promises To Resolve Years-Long Impasse

Laura Shin – Forbes

The bitcoin civil war may have gotten a forceful push toward a solution today as Barry Silbert, head of Digital Currency Group (DCG) and one of the most influential venture capitalists in the space, announced an agreement for resolving the two-and-a-half-year-long impasse.

Aside from the bad press, the two-and-a-half-year-long gridlock has resulted in high fees on the network, a larger-than-usual backlog of transactions and long delays in confirmation times.

DCG’s Bitcoin Scaling Proposal and What it Needs to Succeed

Aaron van Wirdum – Bitcoin Magazine

Spearheaded by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group (DCG), over 50 companies signed and published on Medium a ” Bitcoin Scaling Agreement ” this week.

The DCG agreement is based on the ” SegWit2MB ” proposal, originally floated by RSK Founder and Chief Scientist Sergio Demian Lerner. This proposal couples activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit), the centrepiece of Bitcoin Core’s scaling roadmap, with an added block-size-increase hard fork down the road. While SegWit itself offers an increase to two to four megabytes, the added hard fork should double this to a maximum of eight megabytes.

Exchanges & Trading Venues

ASX’s Blockchain Designed To Help Competition

James Eyers – AFR

The distributed ledger being built by Digital Asset Holdings (DAH) for the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is being designed to accommodate competition in the market for clearing and settlement, and will allow new innovations such as automated corporate actions to be built on top of it should the ASX so desire.

Blythe Masters, CEO of DAH, also told the stockbrokers conference it is on track to deliver a “foundational product” by the end of this calendar year, when the ASX (which owns 8.5% of DAH’s equity) plans to decide whether to pursue blockchain as the technology to replace CHESS.

FAO: For those who didn’t hear about Blythe Masters (ex-JP Morgan) – she is credited as the creator of the credit default swap (CDS) as a financial instrument.  

Masters joined Digital Asset Holdings in March 2015,, as CEO.

Ripple Partners With Hyderabad-Based BTCXIndia To Launch XRP Exchange

Yuvraj Malik – Livemint

Ripple Labs has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange BTCXIndia to start a buying and selling facility for XRP (ripple), the crypto-token used by Ripple.

BitPeople

Armstrong Talks Token, ICOs and Blockchain’s Netscape

Pete Rizzo – CoinDesk

You have to give credit where it’s due – and looking at the increasingly strange and diversifying blockchain industry, it’s not hard to view Coinbase as some sort of bastion of sanity.

Regulation

SEC Official Urges Companies Issuing Tokens To Protect Investors

Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss – Reuters

Companies creating and issuing tokens to raise capital for their projects have a responsibility to protect their investors, said a U.S. SEC official this week.

Startups, Accelerators & Hubs

Bitcoin Startup Wyre Launches Chatbot To Handle B2B Payments From WeChat to Facebook

Laura Chin – Forbes

FAO: Good stats – payments to and from China comprise 13.9% of all B2B payments in the US. The second-largest group of such transactions in the U.S. totals $59 billion in 2014. It is growing at a compound annual rate of 10%.

Analysis

Bitcoin Flies Past $2,300 and $2,400 For The First Time As Scaling Agreement Is Reached

Jonathan Garber – Business Insider

Wednesday’s gain comes after China was downgraded at Moody’s and a bitcoin scaling agreement was reached by the Digital Currency Group, representing 56 companies in 21 countries, at the Consensus 2017 conference in New York.

Ethereum Takes Over Ripple With Ease $16 Billion Market Cap

Joseph Young – The Cointelegraph

Ripple’s impressive rally didn’t last long and its market cap quickly fell from around $16 bln to $13 bln in less than a week.

Bitcoin May Have More Than Doubled This Year, But Rival Ethereum Is Up 2,000%.

Arjun Kharpal – CNBC

The price of bitcoin has more than doubled in 2017. But rival cryptocurrency ether, which runs on the ethereum blockchain, is up over 2,300% this year.

Opinion

Three Reasons To Fear The Coming Crash In Bitcoins

Matthew Lynn – Marketwatch

$1,000 $2,000 or $3,000. Heck, it could be up to $10,000 by the end of the month, and carry on climbing from there. While most markets around the world are mildly positive for this year, the cryptocurrency bitcoin has gone through the roof. At $2,400 it has more than doubled in value this year alone, and it is hitting fresh highs almost every day.