Daily News Digest Featured News

Wednesday January 24 2018, Daily News Digest

ethereum
Source: ValueWalk

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United States

United Kingdom

European Union

International

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Africa

News Summary

United States

Stripe Is Dropping Bitcoin (Motherboard), Rated: AAA

Stripe, the digital payments processor that handles electronic transactions for Lyft, Glossier, Target, Habitat for Humanity, and more, will no longer allow Bitcoin on its platform after April 23, 2018.

Is Facebook About To Adopt Litecoin? (Global Coin Report), Rated: AAA

Back in December, Charlie Lee announced on Reddit that he had offloaded his Litecoin (LTC) holdings, citing a potential conflict of interest between his continued behind-the-scenes and public activity in the space and the future of LTC from a price perspective.

The market response was somewhat mixed to the development. Some suggested that his selling out of his position was a signal of a lack of faith in Litcoin’s long-term ability to stand up to some of the emerging coins. Others thought the opposite, suggesting his move was a sensible one and one that would allow Litecoin to develop organically, without the claims that manipulation is rife, as we’ve seen with many other (much talked about) coins over the last few months.

LiteCoin
Source: Global Coin Report

Around the same time that Lee sold his LTC stake, Coinbase announcedthe appointment of a Facebook executive to its board of directors.

This spurred a rumor:

Is the conflict of interest that Lee refers to rooted in Facebook’s intentions to take on LTC as an integrated cryptocoin within its platform and if so, did Facebook request that Lee sells his stake so as to remove this CoI ahead of said integration?

Bitcoin: If currency crashed, plunge would harm its investors but not economy (USA Today), Rated: AAA

Fears of a bitcoin crash are growing amid an early-year plunge that has wiped out 50% of the digital currency’s value since its December peak of $19,500 per coin.

Bitcoin’s wild ride continued Monday when it was down more than 11% at $10,050 after cratering last week to a seven-week low of $9,200.

The Nasdaq fell nearly 80% after the dot-com stock bubble burst in 2000. The Dow tumbled 86% following the 1929 stock market crash. The Dutch tulip bulb craze in the 1600s had a similar bad ending.

The bitcoin bubble is the biggest ever. Bitcoin’s value has risen 65-fold, which tops the 50-fold rise of tulips in the 1630s and tech stocks’ four-fold rise in the 1990s, according to Convoy Investments, a New York-based investment firm.

Ethereum Price Bubble Is The Biggest In History (ValueWalk), Rated: AAA

Unfortunately, for Bitcoin’s most prominent supporters, the crypto story has started to unravel this year. The Ethereum price has plunged over the past week from a high of $1,372 on January 13, to $946 at pixel time. The cost of Bitcoin has fallen from a high of $19,000 in mid-December to less than $10,000 today.

ethereum
Source: ValueWalk

How Ethereum Is Boosting Nvidia and AMD (Fortune), Rated: A

The recent drop in Ethereum prices may have hurt quite a few investors betting on the rise of cryptocurrency—but the digital coin is still a boon to investors of semiconductor stocks Nvidia(NVDA, +0.28%) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

The profitability of mining Ethereum has risen over 200% since October, wrote Moore, despite falling below $1,000 earlier this week.

According to Morgan Stanley estimates, miners today earn roughly $1.76 each day in profits per each GPU owned. That’s up from 56 cents in October. Those figures assume the miner owns an AMD Radeon 580 and pays roughly 70 cents per day for each GPU’s electricity.

Computing power dedicated to Ethereum mining rose by 2,200 terahash per minute in the third quarter to 3,672 terahash per minute in the fourth quarter, the bank said.

Bitcoin Forking Madness Could Result in 50 Splits This Year (Fortune), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin God arrived last month. Bitcoin Pizza was delivered in January. Bitcoin Private’s issuance date is… still a secret.

Some 19 Bitcoin forks came out last year — but up to 50 more could happen this year, according to Lex Sokolin, global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research. Ultimately, the number could run even higher now that Forkgen, a site enabling anyone with rudimentary programming skills to launch a clone, is in operation. In a Jan. 14 tweet, hedge fund manager Ari Paul predicted more than 10 percent of the current value of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash will reside in new offshoots.

But while Dogecoin now has a $770 million market value, younger clones Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold already dwarf it. Bitcoin Cash, launched in August, is now the fourth most valuable coin, worth a total of about $28 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com.

Now is the best time to invest in bitcoin, says digital currency hedge-fund manager (CNBC), Rated: A

Market watchers should invest in bitcoin now that prices are down, says BK Capital Management founder Brian Kelly.

Goldman issues warning on bitcoin — and an even bigger one on Ethereum (Financial News), Rated: A

The latest to issue a stern warning against the world’s largest digital currency is Goldman Sachs’s investment management division, which wrote that there is “no doubt” that the cryptocurrency’s astronomical rise over the past year “has pushed it into bubble territory”.

Just Add Crypto (Forbes), Rated: AAA

The other week a US company based in Hicksville, NY, best known for selling iced tea changed its name to the Long Blockchain Corp.

Its stock rocketed up 275% even though it plans to maintain iced tea as its principle offering. What exactly has it to do with blockchain? It appears there’s not a single, so much as loose, agreement with a blockchain company in place at this time.

The vast majority of digital coin offerings are scams, warns CEO of a crypto services firm (CNBC), Rated: A

CoinList CEO Andy Bromberg on CNBC Tuesday cautioned investors to be careful of fraud when buying into initial coin offerings.

“The vast majority of ICOs are scams or people seeking to raise money easily,” said Bromberg, whose company is a platform that helps crypto start-ups find investors.

North Capital Announces AI Token to Confirm Verified Accredited Investor Status (Traders), Rated: A

North Capital, a market-leading provider of technology and brokerage services for exempt securities offerings, today announced the release of the AI token (AIT), a utility token that can be used by accredited investors to confirm their verified accredited status to invest in exempt offerings under Regulation D, 506(c) of the Securities Act of 1933.

SpriteCoin ransomware pretends to be a cryptocurrency wallet to get installations (siliconANGLE), Rated: A

Called SpriteCoin, the same name of the fake cryptocurrency it purports to be promoting, by researchers at Fortinet Inc., the ransomware is being spread via forum campaigns. They’re telling people they should download a wallet to get in on the ground floor of a “new cryptocurrency written in JavaScript” that is “sure to be a profitable coin” for the user.

Benevolent Bitcoin Stranger Donates Millions in Digital Currency to Chicago Family’s Charity (NBC Chicago), Rated: A

Focus Foundation’s fortunes suddenly changed with the discovery of an anonymous person using the name “Pine.”

“This person decided in December to give $86 million worth of Bitcoin away to various charities with various missions,” Jacolyn told NBC 5.

OFAC Warns that Venezuela’s Proposed Digital Currency May Violate U.S. Sanctions (Virtual Currency Report), Rated: A

On January 19, 2018, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), in response to a question, warned that a U.S. person’s acquisition of, or dealing in, a cryptocurrency that Venezuela intends to issue in the future may violate OFAC sanctions.  In an effort to refinance the country’s soaring debt, the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, announced a plan to offer 100 million “petros”—backed by barrels from the state-run oil company.  Based on a Venezuelan oil price of $60 a barrel, the offering would amount to around $6 billion.  Although the currency will be backed by oil, it apparentlycannot be traded for oil.  Venezuela has not indicated the exchange on which the petros will be released, but it has indicated that traders will have to register with the Venezuelan government.

Vermont city launches pilot blockchain to track real estate transfers (siliconANGLE), Rated: A

A new blockchain registry for real estate will arrive soon for the City of South Burlington, Vermon, from Palo Alto, California-based startup Propy Inc.

Colorado Senate Bill Proposes Blockchain Technology to Improve State Government’s Operations and Cybersecurity (The National Law Review), Rated: B

The Colorado Senate is considering a bill to utilize blockchain or other distributed ledger technology for a variety of purposes, including to improve the state government’s operations and cybersecurity.

SocialMedia.Market accommodates token economy to cryptocurrencies growth (Live Bitcoin News), Rated: B

SocialMedia.Market, a decentralized platform for influencer marketing announced several amendments in it’s token economy.

SocialMedia.Market makes the following amendments:

  • The company is updating the Hard Cap for the project, reducing it to adjust to the current exchange rates. Now it’s 16 000 ETH.
  • The token exchange rate is being changed. The updated rate is 2500 SMTs for 1 ETH.
  • The company made sure that these changes of the SMT prices do not affect the early baсkers who contributed during the pre-ICO. SocialMedia.Market will recalculate the balances and bring them up to the new exchange rate: new SMTs will be credited to your accounts within the next few days.
  • The end of the token sale is rescheduled for March 16.
United Kingdom

CoinShares launching two new cryptocurrency investment funds (Cryptoninjas), Rated: AAA

CoinShares

UK Government Lures Distributed Ledger Projects With $ 26 Million Fund (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

The U.K.’s nondepartmental public office said it would invest a total of £19 million ($26.6 million) in projects which will result in new products or service in the fields of emerging and enabling technologies, including using distributed ledgers. The agency will also offer a further £12 million ($16.8 million) for businesses trying to recruit graduates to help develop their project.

Can blockchain technology help to restore trust in a third sector battered by scandal? (diginomica), Rated: A

Such concerns were highlighted in a survey undertaken at the end of last year among 2,213 UK consumers by London-based start-up Giftcoin. A huge four out of five of those questioned said they had given money to charity over the last 12 months, donating on average £67 each over the course of the year.

But as many as 55% believed that nearly half of their donation went on overheads such as salaries and rent rather than the cause they were ostensibly supporting. Unsurprisingly then, most indicated they would on give on average 49% more if it were clearer where their money was being spent.

Bitcoin wallet devices vulnerable to security hacks (ScienceDaily), Rated: A

A team at the University of Edinburgh carried out an in-depth security analysis of the communications system used in popular models of Bitcoin wallet.

They created a simple piece of harmful software, or malware, which was able to intercept messages sent between hardware wallets and computers — where users manage their Bitcoin accounts.

The tests revealed that users’ privacy is not protected. They also showed how easy it is to access Bitcoin funds managed by such devices and divert them into a different account.

Based on their findings, researchers proposed a fix for improving the security of such systems. This would encrypt particular messages sent between Bitcoin wallets and computers, making them much more secure.

European Union

French startup proves selling USB sticks is one way to make big money on bitcoin (Quartz), Rated: AAA

Reuters estimates that more than 980,000 bitcoins, worth more than $10 billion at current prices, have already been stolen from exchanges.

A Paris-based startup called Ledger said last week that it sold its millionth Nano S hardware wallet—basically a USB stick with a screen that stores the user’s cryptocurrency holdings. It retails for €94.80 ($116), which suggests Ledger could have a product worth more than $100 million in revenue.

World’s largest Bitcoin and Ethereum exchange BitFlyer comes to Europe (Trusted Reviews), Rated: AAA

Based out of Japan, BitFlyer got the green light to launch in Europe after being granted a payment institution (PI) licence for the European Union, which follows on from its regulatory approval in Japan and the US.

Malta Finance Watchdog Pushes Ahead With Crypto Fund Rules (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Malta’s Financial Services Authority (MFSA) published the feedback it received on its proposed rules for collective investment schemes involving cryptocurrencies on Monday.

Volkswagen’s Chief Digital Officer Joins Blockchain Non-Profit Iota Foundation (Forbes), Rated: B

Today it has announced that the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of Volkswagen, Johann Jungwirth, is joining the Foundation’s Supervisory Board.

Church in Zürich Accepts Donations in Bitcoin, BCH, Ether, Ripple and Stellar (Bitcoin.com), Rated: B

ICF Zurich, an evangelical church from the largest city in Switzerland, has begun accepting voluntary offerings from its parishioners using cryptocurrency. According to its website, the church accepts donations directly via bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether (ETH), ripple (XRP) and stellar lumen (XLM).

International

Big risks in ICO market (The Financial), Rated: AAA

A lack of fundamental valuation and the due diligence process by potential investors is leading to extreme volatility of the initial coin offering (ICO) market, according to new research published by EY.

The research also found that in some cases ICO investors are contributing capital at an average rate of over US$300,000 per second.

The EY research, which studied 372 ICOs around the world, also found that the offerings raised US$3.7b1 in funds, twice the volume of VC investments in blockchain projects. Furthermore, the US is leading the race with the highest volume of ICOs originating from the country (over US$1b). Russia and China follow, with each over US$300m.

Bitcoin.com Surpasses 1 Million Downloads in Just 5 Months (The Merkle), Rated: A

Possibly one of the most well-known organizations in the Bitcoin sphere, Bitcoin.com, has recently began providing its own wallets for users to store their Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in. So far, this venture seems to have worked out spectacularly for them as they have reportedly surpassed a million downloads in just a few months.

Driving Blockchain Adoption in the Developing World With Spire (NASDAQ), Rated: A

According to the online data-gathering site Statistica, more than 25 percent of the global population uses a smartphone, with a third of this demographic projected to own one by 2017. This is up from 21.6 percent in 2014.

The promising startup Spire seeks to boost equal access through the intersection of mobile phones and blockchain technology. Tied to this project are plans to power a digital currency wallet featuring the Spire token, along with other cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. Launching soon, the Spire token will fuel a curated marketplace replete with decentralized applications (DApps), delivering equal access to markets and services.

A New Decentralized Platform Helps Investors Enter Over-the-Counter Ecosystem (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

OnPlace, Russian-US-based company, is creating a decentralized investor community for customers to join, allowing for closed Over-the-counter (OCT) assets to be introduced to the market turnover and to create liquidity for them as well. The platform will create opportunities for investing into funds of the fastest growing tech companies around the world with low entry thresholds for the average person to access.

Aliant Payment System Now Includes Ether and Litecoin to its Platform (Use The Bitcoin), Rated: A

Cryptocurrency adoption comes day by day when mobile applications, shops and other stores start to accept cryptocurrencies. Aliant, an international merchant service provider, has announced on January the 22nd that is offering merchants the ability to accept Ether payments, but, with a Litecoin solution in its final testing phase.

Blockchain Cruise Sets Sail (The Market Mogul), Rated: A

Last week, 600 crypto-enthusiasts embarked on the second annual Blockchain Cruise.

BnkToTheFuture partners with Polymath to tokenize portfolio of blockchain companies (Cryptoninjas), Rated: B

BnkToTheFuture

Asia

New Legislation Compels South Korean Office Bearers to Declare Crypto Investments (BTCManager), Rated: AAA

The bill appears a welcome step forwards in the ongoing crypto maelstrom, both globally and at home, amending as it does the Public Service Ethics Act. This bill would ensure that officials would be required to declare cryptocurrency holdings in excess of ₩10 million ($9,400). Penalties and sanctions are mooted in the bill for those who fail to disclose or submit misleading, inaccurate, or simply untruthful details to the registrar.

South Koreans Will Soon Have to Go to Through a Bank to Buy Bitcoin (Motherboard), Rated: A

South Koreans will have to go through one of six banks in the country if they want to buy or sell Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on an exchange, Yonhap News Agency reported. The change will come into effect on January 30, according to the BBC.

Africa

African Tech Companies Feel Benefits Of Initial Coin Offering Craze (AFK Insider), Rated: AAA

In all, more than 230 companies raised over $3.7 billion by creating and selling their own tokens, or digital currencies, in 2017, with the likes of Bancor and Tezos raising amounts as high as $200 million.

The ICO of South African blockchain consultancy Ekasi-bucks was an unmitigated failure, but the likes of property investment platform ProsperiProp and fintech startup Wala raised decent amounts of money – $200,000 and $1.2 million respectively – despite falling well short of their initial targets.

How to market your ICO in Africa (Disrupt Africa), Rated: A

Will the ICO effect hit Africa? It already is to some extent, with the recent success of SureRemit following hot on the heels of smaller raises by Wala and ProsperiProp. Disrupt Africa reported yesterday how blockchain-based gaming startup Gron Digital is also looking to get in on the act.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

About the author

Allen Taylor

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