Daily News Digest Featured News

Wednesday April 18 2018, Daily News Digest

bitcoin drop
Source: Markets Insider

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United States

International

European Union

United Kingdom

China

Asia

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News Summary

United States

Bitcoin Tax Day rally is apparently not happening as price drops below $ 8,000 (CNBC), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin pundits had bet on prices recovering after U.S. investors filed their taxes. But as markets headed into the close on Tax Day, prices pulled back dramatically below $8,000.

Bitcoin fell more than $200 in 30 minutes, to a low of $7,861 as of 4:00 p.m. ET, according to CoinDesk. The digital currency has dropped roughly 45 percent this year, after trading above $14,000 in January.

bitcoin
Source: CoinDesk

Bitcoin just dropped sharply and suddenly (Business Insider), Rated: A

The price of bitcoin tumbled more than 2% in a matter of minutes Tuesday afternoon, roughly three hours after New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an investigation into major cryptocurrency exchanges.

bitcoin drop
Source: Markets Insider

 

Binance, Bitfinex and More: NY Launches Inquiry Into Crypto Exchanges (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative” on Tuesday, saying it was “a fact-finding inquiry into the policies and practices” of cryptocurrency trading platforms. Letters were sent to 13 exchanges, seeking information about their “operations, use of bots, conflicts of interests, outages, and other key issues,” according to a press release published on Tuesday.

Letters were sent to the companies that operate GDAX, Gemini, bitFlyer, Binance, itBit, Gate.io, Huobi.Pro, Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Bittrex, Kraken, Tidex and Poloniex (the latter of which was recently acquired by Circle).

New York wants cryptocurrency exchanges to explain themselves; Winklevoss says he’ll comply (CNBC), Rated: A

“Gemini applauds the Attorney General’s focus on this industry and the Virtual Markets Initiative, and we look forward to cooperating with and submitting our responses to the questionnaire that has been circulated,” Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini, said in a statement to CNBC. In March, he and his brother Cameron proposed virtual currency businesses form a self-regulatory organization as a way for the industry to mature.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase nabs hedge fund executive to join it as its CFO (CNBC), Rated: AAA

The company said in a blog post on Tuesday that Alesia Haas, the chief financial officer of publicly traded hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management, will join it as chief financial officer (CFO) immediately. Haas will help Oz Management with the transition until June 1.

How to Make Sense of Cryptocurrency Valuations (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin is the largest and best-known cryptocurrency, but there are dozens of other major products and hundreds of minor ones, as well as cryptoassets and tokens. Yet there is no method or established tool that allows investors to analyze and value the assets that are being created seemingly every day.

The “value” factor, for example, is long stocks with low price-to-book ratios and short stocks with high price-to-book ratios. The claim is that the long-term expected return of a diversified portfolio is explained by its exposures to these factors, so you don’t need to understand each individual stock holding to predict performance.

Statistics tell me that four factors — that, is four portfolios — are enough to explain the last 13 months of returns of cryptoassets.

The chart below shows the value of $1 invested in each of the four factor portfolios on Feb. 25, 2017, on a logarithmic scale.

crypto assets factor analysis
Source: Bloomberg

7 Facts to Check Before Investing in a New Cryptocurrency (Due.com), Rated: AAA

  1. Who’s offering the coin?
  2. How active is the development team? – Is this a development team trying to maximize its productivity and maintain strong communications? Or are they resting on their laurels?
  3. How strong is the community? – Cryptocurrency forums, like Cryptorum and CryptoCompare, are good places to browse.
  4. How much funding is backing it, and how are tokens distributed?
  5. What’s the trading volume, and liquidity? – Generally, the higher the trading volume, the easier it will be to exit your position—which is a marker of stability and low risk.
  6. How does the market cap look? – The market cap is also an important indicator of the risk inherent in your investment.
  7. What exchanges are hosting the currency?

A16Z and Founders Fund sink $ 28M into IRL asset blockchain Harbor (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Harbor‘s intention to become a fundamental bridge between the offline and crypto economies has attracted a $28 million strategic round led by Founders Fund and joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Pantera Capital, and more.

Wirex To Produce Litecoin (LTC) Debit Card (Ethereum World News), Rated: A

Just today, Charlie lee stated on twitter that another Litecoin debit card is about to be produced courtesy of Wirex.

Although there has been no official announcement from Wirex. The financial firm, tagged crypto-friendly currency account is a renounce company dubbed by many as the most famous cryptocurrency wallets provider. With about 1.5 million users in over 130 countries, the crypto wallet provider is linked with physical and virtual VISA debit cards.

Almost Half of Crypto Investors Who Profited in 2017 Are Not Disclosing to the IRS (NewsBTC), Rated: A

According to a survey from TeamBlind, the anonymous messaging app popular in fintech circles, 46% of people who made money trading cryptocurrencies in 2017 have chosen not to disclose their taxable profits.

4 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cryptocurrencies (The Motley Fool), Rated: A

1. There are more than 1,700 different cryptocurrencies — and the number is growing

Consider these stats:

  • 23 cryptocurrencies have market capitalizations greater than $1 billion.
  • 120 cryptocurrencies have market caps of $100 million or more.
  • 477 cryptocurrencies have attained market caps over $10 million, and most of these have significant daily trading volume.

2. Not all cryptocurrencies are designed as payment methods

3. The value of all cryptocurrencies is $324.6 billion

In 2018, the overall cryptocurrency market cap has been over $825 billion and as low as $250 billion, thanks to the tremendous volatility in the market.

4. You may have to pay taxes on your cryptocurrencies, even if you don’t sell them

Chain CEO Adam Ludwin Talks Cryptocurrencies and Counterculture (Fortune), Rated: A

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are the new “counterculture” while Silicon Valley and its wealthy tech companies have become the establishment, according to Chain CEO Adam Ludwin.

Einsteinium (EMC2): Simple and Easy Way to Fund Your Projects from Zero (CryptoRecorder), Rated: A

Simply put, this is a straight forward blockchain based platform that focuses on scientific and technology fundraising with a philanthropic twist. This is a platform that you can use to raise funds or crowd fund for various purposes. Though it was launched in 2014, Einsteinium (EMC2) started gaining momentum towards the end of 2017.

3 Ways Blockchain Can Help Combat Fraud (Forbes), Rated: A

Blockchain was originally developed to prevent fraud in digital currency exchanges. But fast forward to 2018, and many industries are finding that blockchain serves endless protective and even disruptive use cases for their businesses—ones that could change processes and wipe out both fraud and “the middle man” altogether. Let’s take a look at how businesses can combat fraud with blockchain.

  1. Hello, Smart Contracts—Goodbye, Old School Escrow?
  2. A Smarter, Tighter Supply Chain? – In today’s global economy, we’re seeing companies all over the world partner for manufacturing, agriculture, pharma development, and everything in between.
  3. Goodbye, Identity Fraud – Research shows identify fraud cost consumers $16 billion last year—not to mention lots of headaches and sleepless nights.

‘I THINK ICO IS A DIRTY WORD’ – LESSONS IN COMPLIANCE FROM KODAKCOIN (Bitcoinist), Rated: A

Darren Marble: CrowdfundX (CfX) is a FinTech marketing firm. We help companies raise capital online using Reg D 506(c) or Reg A+. Some of our clients include KodakCoin; Drake, who is a co-founder of Virginia Black Whiskey; and Fatburger. Prior to entering the blockchain space, CfX marketed historic Reg A+ IPOs to NASDAQ, the NYSE, and OTC Markets Group. Our Reg A+ clients have raised north of $100 million USD in the past two and a half years. We operate at the high end of the market and generally prefer to work with established brands.

Bitcoinist: What are the steps ICOs must take to become SEC-approved and avoid getting shut down by regulators?

Darren Marble: Let me start by noting that I personally don’t like the term ICO, and I encourage industry participants—at least in the US—to use the term Security Token Offer, or “STO” instead.

The Seven Pillars of ICO Investing (CoinDesk), Rated: A

The number of initial coin offerings (ICOs) is growing rapidly, having raised an astounding $5.6 billion in 2017alone. More outrageous is that, by most estimates, over half of the ICOs launched in 2017 have already failed.

  1. Pillar #1: Team
  2. Pillar #2: Idea
  3. Pillar #3: Execution
  4. Pillar #4: Legal/Regulatory
  5. Pillar #5: Tokenization
  6. Pillar #6: ICO Structure
  7. Pillar #7: Price Drivers

Using Ethereum Blockchain Technology to Build Smarter Spacecraft (The Merkle), Rated: A

For the project involving the University of Akron’s Dr. Jin Wei Kocsis, Ethereum technology is the logical solution to a pressing problem. More specifically, there is a big problem when dealing with spacecraft which need to find their way home.

This is where blockchain technology and smart contracts can make a big impact in the months and years to come. Dr. Kocsis is currently working on a solution incorporating this technology as part of her Resilient Networking and Computing Paradigm. It is also worth noting this project received $330,000 in an Early Career Faculty Grant from NASA, as the entity also sees merit in exploring these new opportunities.

Former Goldman Sachs VP Joins Crypto Wallet Blockchain To Attract Institutional Clients (CoinTelegraph), Rate: A

Crypto wallet Blockchain.com has hired former Goldman Sachs executive Breanne Madigan as the head of institutional sales and strategy, CNBC reports today, April 17.

A former Goldman Sachs exec explains why she made the leap to blockchain (Business Insider), Rated: AAA

Some of the key attributes that I’ll leverage in my new role here include, first and foremost, a healthy obsession with the quality of the customer experience. We learned at Goldman that always putting the client first is the right way to build any business with long-term excellence in mind.

Madigan: I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that blockchains will completely reengineer the way we operate in the future, broadly speaking. And I think for this next phase of my career, I am really focused on building new businesses, on partnering with exceptional management teams, and a team that has the vision for the future of the financial system. I’m delighted to say that Blockchain really exceeded every aspect of my goals in this regard.

We’re innovating at the cusp of a whole new ecosystem that we believe will change the way that we operate in the future. I’m very thrilled to be a part of their story from the early days, and very much looking forward to helping develop the strategy but also building the products that will really be the foundation of the industry going forward.

HSBlox Adds R3 Co-Founder Todd McDonald, Dr. Luke Burchard to Advisory Board (PR Newswire), Rated: B

HSBlox, a technology company that is bringing innovation and transparent economics to the healthcare ecosystem, today announced the addition of R3 Co-Founder Todd McDonald and Luke Burchard, M.D., to its Advisory Board. Bringing decades of experience in technology and medical practice, the two new advisors will help guide HSBlox in delivering patient-centric solutions that combine machine learning and blockchain (distributed ledger technology) to address the healthcare industry’s demand for secure, real-time information sharing and interventions.

Ripple’s Brad Garlinghouse, Michael Arrington to talk cryptocurrency at Disrupt SF (TechCrunch), Rated: B

Ripple  CEO Brad Garlinghouse  and Arrington XRP Capital founder (and TechCrunch founder) Michael Arrington will be joining us at TechCrunch Disrupt SF in September to talk money.

TechCrunch founder and former Editor-In-Chief Michael Arrington  will join Garlinghouse onstage to discuss the evolution of cryptocurrencies.

International

Bitcoin whales dump $ 100 million of digital currency in 24 hours (MarketWatch), Rated: AAA

The balance of wallet 3D2oetdNuZUqQHPJmcMDDHYoqkyNVsFk9r — an anonymous digital account which is valued at $1.49 billion — fell by 6,500 bitcoin Tuesday, with the average sale price sale being $8,146.70, a total value of just over $50 million, according to bitinfocharts.

The sale comes a day after the third-largest wallet, which famously purchased over $400 million in bitcoin in February, let go of 6,600 bitcoin at an average price of $8,026. All told, the two whales dumped over $100 million of bitcoin within 24 hours.

bitcoin whales
Source: MarketWatch

bitcoin balance

Exploring the Findings from ICObench’s ICO Market Review (CoinCentral), Rated: AAA

With 415 ICOs, the United States has nearly double the number of ICOs as the number 2 and 3 spots, Russia (238) and the United Kingdom (221). Singapore and Switzerland are the only other two countries in the triple digits with 187 and 123 ICOs, respectively.

ICO market
Source: CoinCentral

Ethereum is by far the preferred ICO platform.

Ethereum holds an 81.14% market dominance in relation to other ICO platforms. The next platform on the list, Waves, sits at just over 3%.

ico platforms
Source: CoinCentral

The ICO bubble may have popped.

Even though the number of ICOs is at an all-time high, the amount that they’re raising is at the lowest it’s ever been. The overall market average is at $1.8 million – just 10% of the September high.

ICO bubble
Source: CoinCentral

Altcoins Rising – NEO and Ethereum (ETH) Back in Green Zone! (Cryptocurrency News), Rated: A

NEO is currently selling for $67.76, which puts the coin up 3.84% in the past twenty-four hours. Yesterday, NEO was down, selling for $65.54 at one point during the day.

NEO
Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum (ETH) is currently selling for $513.67. This puts the coin up 2.00% in the past twenty-four hours.

ethereum
Source: CoinMarketCap

Litecoin [LTC] sees a 6% hike after getting listed on Korbit (AMBCrypto), Rated: A

 

Korbit the biggest Bitcoin [BTC] and Ethereum [ETH] exchange in South Korea, to launch Litecoin [LTC] trading on its platform on April 18th. Multi-trading will remain the same and LTC wallet will be integrated. However, withdrawals will be suspended from April 17th, 2018, to April 19th, 2018 for LTC Wallet integration. L-address, 3-address, and M-address are the 3 types of LTC addresses available, which may be often confused with BTC address.

The announcement has given Litecoin a boost and is currently the fifth most valuable cryptocurrency. Litecoin [LTC] is currently trading at $135.10 and has recorded a 5.88% growth in the past 24 hours.

No Agreement Among Global Regulators How To Treat Cryptocurrencies (Forbes), Rated: A

Bank regulators around the world haven’t taken a unified approach to regulating and tolerating cryptocurrencies, according to a new study.

Adding to the chaos, individual countries often are changing their positions back and forth on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in response to consumer demand and concerns about financial stability.

Bank regulators around the world haven’t taken a unified approach to regulating and tolerating cryptocurrencies, according to a new study.

Adding to the chaos, individual countries often are changing their positions back and forth on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in response to consumer demand and concerns about financial stability.

Powering discovery on the blockchain (The Merkle), Rated: A

With arbitrary information indexed on-chain, you might be curious as to what this information can be used for. This data will be used by end-users indirectly. The users will be completely oblivious to this information being indexed on a blockchain. This provides users with a platform where they can search for information indexed on-chain, using apps running on their smartphones or desktop computers. Think of it as a blockchain with a search engine attached. The information shown to users is not web search results, but rather the indexed data stored on the blockchain.

A Simple Smart Contracts Guide (Payments Journal), Rated: A

“One of the most important elements of any transaction, be it a trade for goods or services, is trust. Both parties need to trust that the other will fulfil their end of the bargain. One classic method of ensuring that has been contracts — but legal documents require expertise and oversight to enforce them. Smart contracts have the potential to change all that.”

European Union

Naviaddress ICO Nabs over $ 16M on Chaineum (Crowdfund Insider), Rated: AAA

Chaineum, a crypto-finance engineering consulting company and reportedly the first French boutique specialized in raising funds through ICOs, has completed an ICO operation carried out for Naviaddress, a platform for digital addressing of locations and objects. Through its ICO, Naviaddress sold a total of 338 M Naviaddress tokens (NVT), for an estimated $16.7M to 850 buyers from 75 countries, confirming the global dimension of interest for cryptocurrencies. According to Naviaddress, NVT users may purchase premium naviaddresses, create metadata linked to naviaddress, verify addresses and evaluate them using tokens.

Ethereum: We need cryptocurrency wallets that are both user-friendly and secure (The Next Web), Rated: A

The security of cryptocurrency wallets has recently come under security with increased number of hacking reports. Researchers have shown that even hardware wallets — which are designed for extra security — are prone to hacking.

As such, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin thinks there’s a need to better secure cryptocurrency wallets for regular users — and the Ethereum Foundation is willing to invest in any project working towards that goal.

MALTA WELCOMES NEUFUND (Irish Tech News) Rated: A

Neufund’s technology, allowing tokenization of shares and fundraising on the blockchain, will provide a critical component in the full value chain of Malta’s blockchain ecosystem. Berlin based Neufund will be establishing strong presence on the ground in Malta. In doing so Neufund will bring European know-how and a team of experienced experts, highly skilled in both reg tech and blockchain development to Malta.

ChainSecurity: Automated Blockchain Smart Contracts Audits? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

The founders of ChainSecurity previously created the popular security smart contract analyzer which is popular with users. They identified the need for formally verified audits as well. And now, they have created the first automated formal audit platform for smart contracts.

Suspect From Iceland Bitcoin Miner Theft Escapes Prison (CoinTelegraph), Rated: B

A suspect being held in connection with a massive Bitcoin miner theft in Icelandearlier this year has escaped prison, local news the Iceland Monitor reports April 17.

United Kingdom

Cambridge Analytica sought to create its own digital currency (The Hill), Rated: AAA

Cambridge Analytica reportedly planned to raise funding through an initial coin offering (ICO) before it became the subject of controversy for improperly obtaining the data of 87 million Facebook users.

Cambridge Analytica’s digital token was intended to help individuals store and sell their personal data, a former employee told the Times.

The firm intended to raise $30 million with an offering, according to a source who spoke with Reuters.

Top UK Tax Official ‘Concerned’ About Cryptocurrencies (Law360), Rated: A

A top U.K. tax official said Tuesday that he is worried about cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin being an avenue for tax fraud, though he said there aren’t significant tax risks for now.

SpectroCoin releases upgraded bitcoin iOS wallet app (Cryptoninjas), Rated: A

SpectroCoin, a bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallet app has announced a new and improved version for iOS. Those running iOS 7.0 or later can now find the updated version in the app store. Besides bug fixes, the new 1.4.0 app version offers enhanced security and user experience, more deposit options, and new features and support for iPhone X.

China

Will China Loosen its Grip on Cryptocurrencies? (cryptovest), Rated: AAA

After a series of crackdowns that had sent local operators packing to other destinations, Yi Gang—the new governor of the People’s Bank of China—suggested that the government’s direction might change soon.

According to him, the central bank will continue to pursue “tight supervision” in the cryptocurrency market, but is also “exploring a better way for digital currency to play a more active role [] in the real economy.”

Messages from China show digital currency is taking off (Asia Times), Rated: A

In the editorial, Yang argued that outright digital currencies bans are near impossible to achieve. Speaking typically for an official from a Chinese state body, in generalities and not specifically about the country or its crypto-currency clampdown, he went on to flesh out his views.

While there is no ban on crypto mining operations  – some of the biggest crypto mines in the world are still in China – many miners have started to locate some of their services outside the country.

Asia

In South Korea, overseas cryptocurrency offerings skirt local clampdown (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Six months after South Korea banned the issuance of new cryptocurrencies, they are starting to creep back into the country by using overseas listings for local trading.

Icon, a newly launched South Korean digital currency, is the market’s first attempt at changing that deadlock via a simple method: it was issued in Switzerland.

Another is Medibloc, a token that was designed to redistribute scattered healthcare information. It attracted investment from healthcare industry officials and venture capital funds, raising $21.2 million, according to database ICO Drops.

Bitcoin Merchant Adoption Might Just Be Accelerating In Asia (CoinDesk), Rated: A

Not only is bitcoin (which has seen years of declining interest from merchants as the network bumped up against its limits) a sought-after choice for business-to-business (B2B) payments, but for retail payments, other cryptocurrencies are finding a foothold as well.

Yet, the rapid growth of B2B bitcoin payments still dwarfs altcoin use cases for retail payments.

To get an idea of the size of the market, international B2B payments now account for roughly 15 percent of BitPay’s business. And that’s after a 328 percent increase in the payments dollar volume BitPay took in between 2016 and 2017.

Is Monero Finally Losing its ‘Bad Boy’ Image? (ICO Examiner), Rated: A

From the beginning, however, its privacy-focused protocol meant that it garnered a reputation as something of a cryptocurrency that tended to attract the ‘wrong sorts’. Whilst an estimated 10% of Bitcoin transactions have been thought to have some kind of relationship with illegal activity, the percentage of such transactions placed at Monero’s door was much higher, with one Bloomberg article claiming that it had become the cryptocurrency of choice for online extortionists.

Latin America

Venezuelan company Cryxto launches Ripple (XRP) exchange (Cryptoninjas), Rated: AAA

Cryxto.com, a new Venezuelan cryptocurrency exchange has launched where users can buy and sell Ripple (XRP) in Venezuelan bolivars. Cryxto is a Venezuelan organization, therefore it is governed by the current legislation of the country and is in the process of obtaining a license by the Superintendence of Cryptocurrencies and Related Activities in Venezuela.

Cryptocurrency billionaire Matthew Mellon dies at rehab facility (The Daily Dot), Rated: A

Matthew Mellon, cryptocurrency investor and heir to one of the most prosperous banking fortunes, has died in a rehab center in Mexico at age 54, according to multiple sources. His death was later confirmed by his cousin Peter Stephaich, who declined to provide details.

“Crypto is scary and dark. It’s anti-America,” Mellon told Forbes earlier this year. “I am pro-America, pro-business and pro-bank. That’s why I went with Ripple. It’s $1 billion virtually for free. I actually have earned it because I was the only person who was willing to raise his hand.”

Eurasia

Telegram’s CEO Is Using Bitcoin to Bypass Russia’s App Ban (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Telegram founder Pavel Durov said Tuesday that he has been paying network administrators in bitcoin to bypass a government ban on his popular messaging platform.

The messaging app’s creator announced Tuesday in his Telegram channel that he had created bitcoin grants for administrators running virtual private networks (VPNs) and other proxy services to allow users access to the platform after the Russian government blacklisted Telegram for refusing to share private messages.

Initial Coin Offering Community Fund Raising Pools? (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

ICOPOOLS.io is blockchain-based legacy ICO pools that offer investors an informational service on the latest information on live deals, and metrics involving ICO pools. The ICO pool further represents the data on a useful metric table with additional sorting options to the users.

Canada

Fresh sourcing on blockchain/cryptocurrency/ICOs (Fasken Email), Rated: B

Fasken recognizes that digitization has redefined the way business operates and has made it a priority to stay connected and on top of emerging technologies. The Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Task Force is designed to help clients identify market opportunities, connect players to disrupt markets, incorporate cryptocurrency and digital token into their operations and safely navigate regulations within an evolving legal landscape.

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

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Allen Taylor

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