Daily News Digest Featured News

Tuesday July 31 2018, Daily News Digest

virtual currencies
Source: Bloomberg

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United States

SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF Plans (Investopedia), Rated: AAA

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)has yet to be convinced that a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is a reasonable investment vehicle. News at the end of last week reported on by CNBC shows that the SEC opted to decline a second attempt by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to launch a bitcoin ETF on a regulated exchange.

Bitcoin slips below $ 8,000 as investors step away from risk (Reuters), Rated: AAA

Bitcoin briefly fell below $8,000 on Monday as investors scaled back their exposure to cryptocurrenices, after a sell-off in shares of technology and internet companies spilled over into other risky assets.

The technology index .SPLRCT tumbled 1.79 percent as disappointing results last week from Facebook Inc (FB.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Intel Corp (INTC.O) spurred worries about growth for a sector that has led the equity market to record highs.

Facebook
Source: Reuters

Gallup Poll: 75% of US Investors Think Bitcoin Is ‘Very Risky’ (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Three-quarters of U.S. investors with more than $10,000 in stocks, bonds and mutual funds think bitcoin is a “very risky” investment, a new survey revealed Monday.

A poll conducted by Gallup and Wells Fargo asked U.S.-based investors about their views on bitcoin, finding that just 2 percent currently own any and more than 70 percent “have no interest in ever buying bitcoin.” A further 26 percent are “intrigued” but do not plan to purchase any in the near future, the poll found.

The survey found that bitcoin’s perceived riskiness is the primary reason few investors are holding the cryptocurrency. While 75 percent considered bitcoin to be “very risky,” less than 0.5 percent (or less than 10 people surveyed) thought bitcoin was “not risky at all.” Only 2 percent thought bitcoin was “not too risky,” with the remaining 23 percent thinking of bitcoin as being at least “somewhat risky.”

Millennials are 5 times as likely as older adults to say bitcoin is the best way to save for the future (CNBC), Rated: A

The future of bitcoin remains a topic of hot debate, but young people are significantly more likely to trust the cryptocurrency than their older counterparts.

That’s according to a new survey from Bankrate, which found that 5 percent of millennials (defined, in this case, as those aged 18 to 37) say bitcoin is the best place to put money they won’t need for 10 years or more. Only 1.2 percent of Gen X-ers (ages 38 to 53) favor it for long-term saving, and less than 1 percent of boomers (ages 54 to 72) do.

Relying on cryptocurrency as your long-term investment vehicle could be a costly mistake. Bitcoin has had a rough year: After surging to $20,000 a coin at the end of 2017, it fell to less than $6,000 by June of 2018. Some experts, including CEOs and Wall Street heavyweights, say the digital currency has run its course.

Expect further declines in the price of cryptocurrencies, says Goldman Sachs (MarketWatch), Rated: A

Coming off back-to-back winning weeks, bitcoin is looking to consolidate the recent momentum that has seen the No. 1 digital currency rise by more than 40% since the start of July.

However, the momentum has been dealt a blow with all major coins in the red in afternoon trading.

The slump comes on the back of a Goldman Sachs Group GS, +0.55%  note that predicts the recent turnaround in bitcoin and other digital currencies will be short-lived.

The Economics Of Decentralized Organizations: The End Of For-Profit Corporations? (Forbes), Rated: AAA

Corporations are the driving force behind most modern economies, providing employment, goods and services to most citizens. However, time and time again, the overriding organizing principles and the for-profit nature of businesses have produced negative side effects on the environment, the economy and society at large. Blockchain technology has opened the door for a new paradigm: the Decentralized Autonomous Corporation (DAC). DACs have the potential to challenge our current economic structures by aligning the interests of operators, shareholders, customers and maybe even the environment.

AlphaPoint Helps Launch XRP-Based Cryptocurrency Exchange (CoinDesk), Rated: AAA

Cryptocurrency services firm AlphaPoint is powering a new decentralized exchange, the company announced Monday.

DCEX, a San Francisco-based marketplace, formally opened registration for its platform, though clients will not be able to begin trading for a few more weeks. The exchange notably uses XRP as its “base currency,” meaning many of its trading pairs are denominated in the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, AlphaPoint CEO Salil Donde said in a blog post.

In its announcement, DCEX says it will be able to offer a total of 15 trading pairs, including XRP, bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum, ethereum classic, vechain, zcash, and stable-coin TrueUSD.

Pantera Capital Returns Soar on 5-Year Crypto Investments (Investing.com), Rated: A

Crypto-oriented investment firm Pantera Capital Management has generated returns of over 10,000%, since its inception five years ago.

The San Francisco-based company revealed the results in a Medium post on Friday. The co-chief investment officers Joey Krug and Dan Morehead, who is also CEO, said:

“The Fund’s lifetime return is 10,136.15% net of fees and expenses.

Here Is Why Ripple Is Thrilled Regulators Are Getting Involved With Crypto (Global Coin Report), Rated: A

The U.S SEC(Securities and Exchange Commission) play a vital role as the regulatory body for all trading and exchange activities in the United States. The body has scrutinized not only the Bats ETF but also the pending CBOE ETF as well as keeping us guessing as to whether they consider XRP as a security or not. This was after the SEC gave ETH a green-light by stating it is not a security. Many crypto-enthusiasts and traders have been treading carefully when trading with XRP for they believe any negative comment with regards to the digital asset, will send it spiraling out of control in the markets. But there might be an upside to XRP being a security.

The encouraging thing is that the team at Ripple is actually thrilled that regulators are getting involved. Cory Johnson, Ripple’s Chief Market Strategist stated that:

“One person’s regulation is another person’s protection. I believe it’s really important for investors to be protected.”

Ripple Release New Advice For XRP Investors (Crypto Daily), Rated: A

Reading gives us a new perspective on things. By checking out books about the blockchain, we can introduce ourselves to new theories that can make us better investors. Theories and concepts change over time and therefore, we need to continue reading to keep up with the fast paced nature of the industry. Overall, it’s pretty cool that Ripple are passing on advice like this and are pointing their customers in the direction of some great, non-biased advice.

Ripple
Source: Crypto Daily

Hidden Trends Inside The Explosive $ 9.2 Billion-Projected Blockchain Arena (Forbes), Rated: A

Blockchain is clearly one of the hottest trend narratives of the business world today. From startups boasting innovative strategies leveraging variations on this ledger technology to legacy corporations feverishly partnering in order to develop competitive advantages, the blockchain sphere is exploding, with enterprise spending in the arena reported to reach $9.7 billion in just the next three years. But there are a few hidden factors that most in the space in the space are missing in order to truly be prepared to drive their business forward.

IBM trials blockchain platform aimed at banks (CNBC), Rated: A

IBM launched a blockchain platform for financial services on Monday as it continued to bolster its offerings of the much-hyped technology.

Blockchain is the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency bitcoin. It’s a public ledger of activity on the bitcoin network that is tamper-proof. But banks and other institutions are now looking to apply blockchain to many of their processes, from issuing loans to settling trades.

No, McDonald’s Isn’t Launching a Cryptocurrency, Despite What It Appears (Fortune), Rated: B

McDonald’s, on Sunday, unveiled the MacCoin—and the business world shuttered. Given the still-fresh memory of Kodak’s announcement it would launch its own cryptocurrency, many feared the restaurant chain was hopping on the bandwagon as well.

Fortunately, even though McDonald’s announcement touted the MacCoin as the “first fully food-backed global currency,” it’s not a Bitcoin alternative. It’s actually just a heavier-than-usual coupon for a free burger.

International

Chamber of Digital Commerce Sets Out ICO and Token Guidelines (Bitcoin Magazine), Rated: AAA

The Chamber of Digital Commerce’s Token Alliance is producing a new group of guidelines built to help the cryptocurrency and initial coin offering (ICO) markets grow responsibly. Released today as a whitepaper, the report is entitled “Understanding Digital Tokens: Market Overviews & Guidelines for Policymakers & Practitioners.”

The paper will specifically pertain to “utility tokens,” which provide users with future access to products or services.

Smart contract hacks cost millions — this company wants to fix it (The Next Web), Rated: AAA

Last November, a user accidentally froze around 514,000 ETH (worth approx. $155 million) in Parity, a popular Ethereum wallet. The culprit was a bug in the wallet’s software, which the user in question accidentally triggered.

This wasn’t the first incident on the Parity wallet. Only months earlier, another bug in Parity’s software enabled hackers to get away with 150,000 ETH (approx. $30 million). Neither is Parity the only Ethereum application that has suffered from smart contract vulnerabilities.

In 2016, in the famous DAO hack, hackers got away with 3.6 million ETH, 15 percent of all Ether in circulation at the time. The incident caused a rift in the Ethereum community and resulted in a hard fork, creating two versions of the famous cryptocurrency.

KickCoin smart contract loses $ 7.7M worth of tokens in hack (CoinGeek), Rated: A

Another day and another hack in the crypto space with the latest victim being Kickico, which experienced a staggering loss of 70 million KickCoin tokens valued at an estimated $7.7 million.

According to a press officer of the company who spoke to CoinGeek, the security breach took place last Thursday at around 9:04 (UTC), which resulted in the attackers gaining access to the account of the Kick smart contracts and the tokens of the Kickico platform.

The team got to know about the incident after the complaints of several victims, who did not find tokens worth around $800,000 in their wallets. Initial reports showed that $800,000 worth of Kick tokens were missing, but it was later found out that a total of 70 million of the tokens were stolen, which, at the current exchange rate, is equivalent to $7.7 million.

10 Best and Most Successful ICOs 201718 (Crypto Comes), Rated: A

The first ICO that we are going to review is called Filecoin, which had the biggest amount of investments in 2017 raising staggering $257 mln (it was a record-breaking coin offering at that time before being surpassed by Telegram in 2018). The ICO, which still remains in the development phase, is a new Blockchain-based solution that tackles such a serious problem as vulnerability to security breaches.

Cryptocurrencies Aren’t Just An Investment Tool: Here’s How To Use Them In Everyday Life (Benzinga), Rated: A

Since cryptocurrencies are digital assets, all transactions are performed digitally as well. For example, to pay for a product using a cryptocurrency, you make a digital transaction to the company selling the product. In order for that to work, you need to have a cryptocurrency wallet to send assets from and the company needs a wallet to receive the assets to.

Job.com to Launch First-of-its-Kind Recruitment Platform on GoChain (Finyear), Rated: A

Job.com has announced that it will be launching its blockchain powered recruitment service and ICO on the GoChain network, and welcome GoChain Chief Technical Officer Travis Reeder as an ICO Advisor. Job.com, a recruitment platform with twenty years of experience in the industry and a user base of over 60 million, is primed to disrupt and decentralize the recruitment industry by utilizing blockchain technology to remove the need for recruiters during the hiring process.

Brought on by Job.com’s crypto market advisory firm, Strategic Coin, and multi-disciplinary blockchain consultancy ChainVisory, the collaboration between Job.com and the fast-growing GoChain will help implement the company’s ambitious recruitment vision.

PolyMath (POLY) Token Wins Binance’s Round 8 Community Coin Contest (Bitcoin Exchange Guide), Rated: B

Binance Polymath
Source: Bitcoin Exchange Guide
European Union

Happy Birthday Ethereum! (Ethereum World News), Rated: AAA

On a day like today, July 30 of exactly 3 years ago, Ethereum (ETH) took its first steps as an independent blockchain.

The project was promising, and the community was very excited about the potential it could offer for the development of the whole ecosystem. Little did the enthusiasts know how vital Ethereum would become in the evolution of the entire crypto-verse.

Ethereum Creator: Mass Adoption Matters More Than Cryptocurrency ETFs (CCN), Rated: A

Ethereum co-founder Buterin Vitalik believes that the crypto community has focused too much on ETFs rather than making cryptocurrency easier to use as a method of payment for everyday purchases via payment cards, according to a recent tweet. An ETF will benefit cryptocurrency prices, he believes, but making it easier for people to use it will do more for mass adoption.

Will Ethereum Classic (ETC) Ever Enter The Top 10 List? (Smartereum), Rated: A

Ethereum’s brother Ethereum Classic has been making the headlines in the cryptocurrency industry recently but its still not close to the list of top 10 cryptocurrencies. Many are wondering if Ethereum Classic will ever make the list and those who believe it will are worried about how long it will take for Ethereum Classic to make the list of the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the market. The altcoin has been trading between $19.00 and $15.97 for some months now. Typically, the value has hovered around the $16.5 and $16.80 levels. It was trading at $16.80 at the time of writing indicating a 15% drop within a 24 hour period.

Ethereum Classic
Source: Smartereum

New Cryptocurrency Exchange Targets European Regulatory Compliance (Forbes), Rated: A

A new cryptocurrency exchange has launched with a goal of complying with local regulatory requirements. If approved by the Financial Markets Authority the exchange, Blocktrade.com, will adhere to Europe’s recently implemented MiFID II framework.

Formally launched into beta on Monday, Blocktrade.com’s exchange platform will trade bitcoin, ethereaum, litecoin, bitcoin cash and XRP. Crypto Traded Indices, Security Tokens, and Tokenised Assets will be gradually added later in 2018. Blocktrade.com’s exchange is now open for registration and is expected to roll out fully in September.

Gibraltar United prepares to pay footballers in cryptocurrency through new Quantocoin partnership (Coin Insider), Rated: A

Russian hotels might have hoped to score Bitcoin ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, though now Gibraltar United has taken pride of place with the news that it will pay its players in cryptocurrency in its next season.

European Protections Pave The Way For Blockchain (Forbes), Rated: A

Evolving regulations in privacy and data security are pressuring companies to accommodate user demands for control over their personal information.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents the largest change to European Union (EU) data protection laws in decades, and requires companies that do business in the region to provide increased protections for EU users.

Utopian.io and Fundition.io Announce Partnership to Empower The Development of Independent Open Source Projects (Prurgent), Rated: B

Utopian.io, a provider of free crowdsourcing services to open source projects by incentivizing contributions, is proud to announce a collaboration and partnership with Fundition.io, a unique decentralized crowdfunding platform on the Steem blockchain.

United Kingdom

Only 5% of Brits Made Capital Gains Via Cryptocurrencies (Bankless Times), Rated: AAA

As recorded, only 38% test-takers understood the underlying technology of cryptocurrencies – blockchain – and 5% of respondents reported any incurred capital gains. Also, only 5% of investors took guidance from an advisor before purchasing cryptocurrencies.

Energi Mine Launches Phase Two of its EnergiTokens Rewards Platform (Energi Mine email), Rated: B

Energi Mine, the AI and blockchain-based energy company, has today announced that it is launching Phase two of its EnergiToken rewards platform. This sees vendor management introduced to the platform, allowing consumers to interact with approved vendors of sustainable goods, as well as giving vendors the power to manage client transactions and to distribute ETK.

China

Bitcoin Mining Company Bitmain Hit $ 1.1 Billion in Profits in Q1 2018 (Fortune), Rated: AAA

— Bitmain is raising further cash in addition to a $400M round reported in early June. The new funding would value Bitmain at approximately $14 billion, implying a 10 to 11x earnings multiple, according to the email. This is a 16.6% increase from the company’s most recently reported $12 billion valuation.

— The email cites a KPMG audit of the business and reports that Bitmain produced $1.2 billion in net profit and an approximately 50% net margin in 2017.

— Bitmain reportedly brought in $1.1 billion in net profit just in the first quarter of 2018. According to the email, a conservative estimate of what the company could earn in net profit for the full year hovers at approximately $2 to $3 billion.

HTC Says Its Crypto-Friendly Smartphone Will Support Litecoin (CoinDesk), Rated: A

HTC’s new blockchain-compatible smartphone will support litecoin, creator Charlie Lee said Sunday.

Lee announced the news Sunday, adding that he was joining the development team of the HTC Exodus as an advisor. The news comes days after Lee claimed he met with the Exodus’ team last week. Lee further confirmed that the Exodus will support the Lightning Network on litecoin natively.

Cobinhood up 12% While Other Exchange Tokens Underperform (Sludgefeed), Rated: A

The price of COBINHOOD (COB), the first zero-fee cryptocurrency exchange, is up around 12% over the last 24 hours after a string of major announcements to close out the previous week, including the integration of USD trading pairs and launch of a built-in VPN for Chinese app users. COB is currently at $0.046 with a $17 million market cap.

The major constituents of the ALTEXC include Binance Coin (29.55%), 0x (15.10%), BitShares (14.07%), Waves (6.69%), KuCoin Shares (6.50%) and Huobi Token (4.36%).

AltDex
Source: Sludgefeed

Crypto Wallet SafeWallet Replaces Private Keys With QR Codes (BlockTribune), Rated: A

Decentralized crypto wallet SafeWallet has released a new QR code-based user identification system that completely replaces mnemonic phrase/private key backup model of traditional crypto wallets.

Australia/New Zealand

New Zealand flirting with digital currency plan, head banker reveals (Crypto News Review), Rated: AAA

New Zealand could release its own form of digital currency, the deputy head of the country’s Reserve Bank has revealed.

Australian Government Awards Grant to Blockchain Project for Sustainable Sugar (CoinTelegraph), Rated: A

The Australian government has granted A$2.25 million ($1.7 million) to the Sustainable Sugar Project, Foodnavigator-Asia reports July 30.

The Sustainable Sugar Project, led by the Queensland Cane Growers Organization, will use blockchain technology to track the provenance of sugar supplies to Australia. The initiative known as the Smart Cane Best Management Practice (BMP) is part of a sugar industry push for better sustainability and traceability.

Asia

CRYPTO CEO ALLEGEDLY STEALS $ 35 MILLION FROM INVESTORS, GOES ON THE RUN (Newsweek), Rated: AAA

The boss of a cryptocurrency mining venture in Vietnam has reportedly disappeared without notice, and with about $35 million of investors’ funds.

A collective of 20 investors complained to local police in the Phú Nhuận District after learning that Sky Mining, a crypto company, had shut down its main office and removed all branding from its building. They said CEO Lê Minh Tâm had been unreachable for about a week.

Investors found that approximately 600 mining machines had been removed from a factory by individuals claiming to be maintenance workers, according to local media outlet VnExpress. The website reported that the group believes Tâm absconded with millions of their dollars.

Blockchain media project Civil turns to Asia with fund to kickstart 100 new media ventures (TechCrunch), Rated: A

Civil, the blockchain-based journalism organization, is casting its eye to Asia after it set up a $1 million fund that’s aimed at seeding 100 new media projects across the continent over the next three years. The organization has teamed up with Splice, a Singapore-based media startup which will manage the fund, according to an announcement.

Digital Currency Exchange debuted on NASDAQ, UCC rose sharply at the opening (Digital Journal), Rated: A

This bell ringing ceremony of the Exchange(www.eccoin.io)set its main venue in Phnom Penh and other venues in New York and Shanghai. At the same time, huge advertisement of the Exchange were officially unveiled at 12:00 EST on NASDAQ’s main screen in America.

FBG Capital Announced as Lead Investor in Universal Protocol ‘Proxy Token’ Platform (Business Wire), Rated: B

FBG Capital has been announced as the lead investor in the Universal Protocol Platform (UPP), a blockchain technology project launched by an alliance of industry leading companies. UPP is launching a digital reserve ecosystem that allows for the seamless transfer of digital currencies and digital assets across nearly all decentralized networks. The platform introduces general interoperability of blockchain-based assets as well as features that promote conventional investor protections.

Canada

Novogratz’s Crypto Bank Makes Belated Debut After Plunge (Bloomberg), Rated: AAA

Mike Novogratz is past the point of no return.

Two days from now, his cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank, Galaxy Digital LP, will start trading on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange. It should be a triumphant moment for the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner and a milestone for the industry, yet Novogratz is having second thoughts. He reflects on the “frustrating” demands of Canadian regulators that dragged out Galaxy’s listing for months and trapped his investors as Bitcoin collapsed and crypto fever cooled.

While Novogratz said he has no regrets and remains bullish as ever on blockchain’s potential to revolutionize finance, his eight-month odyssey is a cautionary tale for others looking to use Canada’s capital markets as a shortcut to going public. A U.S. initial public offering would have required at least two years of audited financials, which Galaxy doesn’t yet have. Instead, Novogratz is merging the firm with a shell company listed on the Toronto junior exchange via a reverse takeover.

virtual currencies
Source: Bloomberg

Authors:

George Popescu
George Popescu
Allen Taylor
Allen Taylor

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Allen Taylor

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