On July 14, 2020, join Binance as we kick off our third anniversary with one of the biggest blockchain events of the year. Get the latest news and updates on all things blockchain and crypto, and take an exclusive look at what’s coming next at our “Off the Charts!” Virtual Conference, a blockbuster 10-hour live event with multi-regional programming that brings together 80+ influential speakers, including leading blockchain and crypto innovators, business and technology leaders, influential academics, and key policymakers. Expect to hear the latest insights on the blockchain ecosystem from some of the industry’s most prominent leaders and visionaries. Join our can’t-miss event with powerful talks, breakthrough panels, opportunities to win prizes, and much more. The “Off the Charts!” Virtual Conference will feature five segments with spotlights on regions making a significant impact in the space: Europe & the UK, Asia-Pacific, Russia & CIS, Africa & Middle East, and North America & LATAM. Discover an array of keynotes, panels, and fireside chats, on these following themes and more:
Powering Crypto Growth: Local blockchain trends and evolving technologies that are transforming crypto awareness and adoption.
Crypto Meets Traditional Finance: Exploring opportunities for integrated and parallel development.
Blockchain and Global Health: Crypto’s appeal in today’s volatile environment.
Policy and Regulation: Spearheading community initiatives through cooperation and investment.
Trading Strategies and Technical Analysis: Training and insights to improve your trading.
Hear from these speakers and more:
Akon - Chairman & Co-Founder, Akoin
Cliff Liang - Director of Solutions Architecture, Amazon
David Ferrer Canosa - Secretary for Digital Policies, Government of Catalonia
Don Tapscott - Executive Chairman, The Blockchain Research Institute
Oleksandr Bornyakov - Deputy Minister, Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine
Perianne Boring - Founder and President, Chamber of Digital Commerce
Changpeng Zhao (CZ) - Founder & CEO, Binance
He Yi - Co-Founder & CMO, Binance
Aarón Olmos - Economist, Olmos Group Venezuela
Alex Saunders - CEO & Founder, Nugget's News
Anna Baydakova - Reporter, CoinDesk
Anton Mozgovoy - Head of Product, Jthereum
Apolline Blandin - Research Lead, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance
Beniamin Mincu - CEO, Elrond
Bobby Ong - Co-founder, CoinGecko
Brendan Eich - CEO & Co-founder, Brave Software
Bruno Diniz - Managing Partner, Spiralem Innovation Consulting
Calvin Liu - Strategy Lead, Compound Labs
Camila Russo - Founder, The Defiant
Carlos Rischioto - Client Technical Leader & Blockchain SME, IBM
Carylyne Chan - Interim CEO, CoinMarketCap
Catherine Coley - CEO, Binance.US
Charles Hayter - CEO, CryptoCompare
Charles Hoskinson - Founder, Cardano
Charlie Shrem - Host, UntoldStories.Com
Chimezie Chuta - Founder, Blockchain Nigeria User Group
Darius Sit - Partner, QCP Capital
David Ferrer Canosa - Secretary for Digital Policies, Government of Catalonia
Denis Efremov - Investment Director, Da Vinci Capital
Don Tapscott - Executive Chairman, The Blockchain Research Institute
Eric Turner - VP, Market Intelligence, Messari
Erick Pinos - Americas Ecosystem Lead, Ontology
Ernesto Contreras Escalona - Head of Business Development, Dash Core Group
Eugene Mutai - CTO, Raise
Genping Liu - Partner, Vertex Ventures
Hany Rashwan - CEO, 21Shares AG
Harry Halpin - CEO, Nym Technologies
Hongfei Da - Founder, Neo
Igor Runets - CEO, BitRiver
İsmail Hakkı Polat - Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Lecturer, Istanbul Kadir Has University
Jamie Burke - CEO, Outlier Ventures
Jiho Kang - CEO, Binance.KR
John Izaguirre - Europe Ecosystem Lead, Ontology
John Khenneth Parungao - COO, SwipeWallet, Inc.
Jon Karas - President & Co-Founder, Akoin
Jorge Farias - CEO, Cryptobuyer
Joseph Hung - Director of Market Strategy, Klaytn
Joseph Lubin - CEO, ConsenSys
Juan Otero - CEO, Travala.com
Justin Sun - Founder, TRON & CEO, BitTorrent
Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr - Managing Editor & Head of Features, Cointelegraph
Ken Nakamura - CEO, GMO-Z.com Trust Company
Konstantin Goldstein - Principal Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
Kyle Samani - Managing Director, Multicoin Capital
Thamim Ahmed - Researcher, University College London
Tom Lee - Head of Research, Fundstrat Global Advisors
Tyler Spalding - CEO, Flexa
Veronica Wong - CEO, SafePal
Viktor Radchenko - Founder, Trust Wallet
Winpro Yan - Chief Editor, Mars Finance
Yele Bademosi - CEO, Bundle Africa
Zhuling Chen - COO, Aelf Blockchain
Stay tuned as speakers and more themes are announced in the coming weeks! For more details, read our blog posthereand visit our event websitehere. During the livestream, we will be holding special #BinanceTurns3activities for viewers and giving away limited-edition prizes, swag, and collectible NFTs at various points throughout the livestream. Availability is limited! Register today! Binance Awards 2020 Join Binance as we celebrate the standout innovators and businesses that have made sizable contributions, both to our community and to our blockchain ecosystem. Winners will be announced during our live event, and results will be published on our blog afterwards. Register on Eventbrite today and tune in to the “Off the Charts” Virtual Conference on July 14, 2020, from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (UTC). -------- Thank you to our partners for helping make this event possible!
Mitch McConnell's Brother-in-Law One of the Masterminds of Trump-Russia
Jim Breyer, Mitch McConnell's brother-in-law, Facilitates Russia’s Takeover of Facebook through Yuri Milner In 2005 Jim Breyer, a partner at Accel Partners, invested $1 million of his own money into Facebook and gained a seat on the board (1). In Feb 2009 Jim Breyer visited Russia with a number of other Silicone Valley investors. While there, Yuri Milner, a Russian tech entrepreneur who founded DST with close ties to the Kremlin, hosted a dinner to cap the entire event (2). As one Moscow source put it:
DST has the backing of the big boys at the top in the Kremlin, which is why it will go from strength to strength (5)
Milner found out Breyer liked Impressionist art and took him to Russian’s Hermitage Museum to view Matisse paintings otherwise closed off to the public. Three months later Yuri Milner’s DST invested into Facebook at a bloated value. (2)
Mr Milner dismissed suggestions that at a valuation of $10bn he overpaid for his stake in Facebook, especially given that the social networking site has yet to prove it has turned to profit. (3) it’s seen as a desperate and rather vulgar deal on the one hand—Milner buying a small stake in Facebook, valuing the entire company at $10 billion—and, on the other, Facebook debasing itself by taking Russian money. Russian money! In fact, it seems rather like a desperate deal for both parties (in the midst of the banking crisis, Facebook has only two other bidders for this round—and none from the top VC tier) (4)
By the end of 2009, DST would own 10% of Facebook. Later revealed by the Paradise Papers, DST’s investments into Facebook were financed by the Russian government through state-owned Gazprom. That’s right, in 2009 Russia owned 10% of Facebook. (6) Soon after, the two continued to work together on other investments. Breyer introduced Milner to Groupon, and Milner helped Breyer’s Accel invest into Spotify (7). In 2010 an Accel representative joined a gaggle of Silicon Valley investors to Russia and signed a letter promising to invest into the country (8).
Jim Breyer and Rupert Murdoch Then in Nov 2010 Jim Breyer invested into Artsy.net, run by Rupert Murdoch’s then-wife, Wendi Deng, and Russia oligarch Roman Abramovich’s then-wife, Dasha Zhukova. Jared Kushner’s brother, Josh, also invested in the fledgling company (1). At the time Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation had a joint venture with the Russian mob-linked oligarch Boris Berezovsky, called LogoVaz News Corporation, that invested in Russian media (4). It was Berezovsky’s protege close to Putin, Roman Abramovich, who tied Berezovsky to the mob.
According to the Mirror Online, Abramovich paid Berezovsky tens, and even hundreds, of millions every year for "krysha", or mafia protection. (5)
In June 2011, Rupert Murdoch ended his foray into social media by selling Myspace to Justin Timberlake (2) and elected Jim Breyer to the board of News Corp (3).
Jim Breyer invests in Wickr with Erik Prince In 2012 Breyer invested in a encrypted messenger app, Wickr. Other investors include Gilman Louie and Erik Prince. To understand the connection, we need to go back to 1987. Breyer, newly hired to Accel Partners, made his first investment with Louie’s video game company that owned the rights to the Soviet Union’s first video game export, Tetris (1). Louie went off to become the founding CEO of the CIA-backed In-Q-Tel which invested in Palantir. Palantir’s founder, Peter Thiel, sat on the board of Facebook with Breyer (2)(3). On the board of In-Q-Tel is Buzzy Krongard (7), the man who helped Erik Prince’s Blackwater receive their first CIA contract, who also joined the board of Blackwater in 2007 (6). Around that same time, 2012-2013, Prince met Vincent Tchenguiz, founder of Cambridge Analytica's parent company, SCL (8), and was introduced to Cyrus Behbehani of Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (9). Cyrus Behbehani sat on the board of RusAl with Christophe Charlier, who is also Chairman of the board at Renaissance Capital (10), an early investor of DST (11).
Jim Breyer and Yuri Milner invest in Prismatic That same year, 2012, Jim Breyer invested in Prismatic, a news aggregate app, with Yuri Milner.
Prismatic’s technology works by crawling Facebook, Twitter and the web (“anything with a URL”) to find news stories. It then uses machine learning to categorize them by Topic and Publication. Prismatic users follow these Topics and Publications, as well as Individuals and the algorithm then uses these preferences and user-activity signals to present a relevant Newsfeed. (1)
Sounds like the beginning of what could be a propaganda dissemination tool. That goes in-line with Yuri Milner’s vision of Social Media. Milner’s theory:
“Zuckerberg’s Law”: Every 12 to 18 months the amount of information being shared between people on the web doubles... Over time people will bypass more general websites such as Google in favor of sites built atop social networks where they can rely on friends’ opinions to figure out where to get the best fall handbag, how to change a smoke detector, or whether to vacation in Istanbul or Rome. “You will pick your network, and the network will filter everything for you,” Milner explained. (2)
So how does Milner intend to utilize the data gathered through social media? Let’s see what Milner did to Russia’s top social media site, VK:
In January 2014, Durov sold his 12 percent stake to Ivan Tavrin, the CEO of major Russian mobile operator Megafon, whose second-largest shareholder is Alisher Usmanov, one of Russia’s most powerful oligarchs, a man who has long been lobbying to take over VK. Then, in April 2014, Durov stated he had sold his stake in the company and became a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis back in February after "coming under increasing pressure" from the Russian Federal Security Service to hand over personal details of users who were members of a VK group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement in Ukraine. (3)
The Euromaidan protest ousted the Russian-backed president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Paul Manafort had worked to install. (4)
Facebook talks US Elections with Russia In Oct 2012 Zuckerberg traveled to Moscow and met Dmitry Medvedev where they had a very interesting conversation:
Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Medvedev talked about Facebook’s role in politics, though only jokingly in reference to its importance in the American presidential campaign, according to Mr. Medvedev’s press office. (1)
While there he also visited Victor Vekselberg's Skolkovo, who’s currently under investigation by Mueller for donations to Trump (2).
As Obama’s effort to reboot diplomatic relations [with Russia] sputtered, federal officials began raising alarms about the Skolkovo Foundation’s ties to Putin. “The foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research, development facilities and dual-use technologies” (3)
And took time to teach Russian's how to hack Facebook friend data, the same hack used by Cambridge Analytica, Donald Trump’s campaign data firm.
In a 2012 video, Facebook's Simon Cross shows the Moscow crowd how they can "get a ton of other information" on Facebook users and their friends. "We now have an access token, so now let's make the same request again and see what happens," Cross explains (YouTube). "We've got a little bit more data, but now we can start doing really interesting stuff. We can get my friends. We can get some more information about one of my friends. Here's Connor, who you'll meet later. Say 'hello,' Connor. He's waving. And we can also get a ton of other information as well." (4)
Facebook later hired the individual who hacked Facebook and sold the data to Cambridge Analytica (5). A month after that visit, Putin propaganda mouth-piece Konstantin Rykov, claims he began helping with Trump’s presidential aspirations (6). Days later, Trump registered “Make America Great Again” (7). The following year, Russia's Troll Factory, the Internet Research Agency, was created as was Cambridge Analytica.
Andrei Shleifer and Len Blavatnik Len Blavatnik, a US-Russian oligarch currently under investigation by Mueller, graduated from Harvard in 1989 and quickly formed Renova-Invest with Viktor Vekselberg, another oligarch under Mueller’s investigation (7)(8). Since then Blavatnik has maintained close ties to the university. In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Andrei Shleifer led a consortium of Harvard professors to assist Russia’s vice-president, Antaoly Chubais, with the privatization of Russia’s state-run assets. Scandal broke when it was revealed Shleifer, through Blavatnik’s company and with Blavatnik’s guidance, invested in the very companies he worked to privatize. (6) Years later, Shleifer continued to fund loans to Blavatnik for Russian ventures through his hedge fund, managed by his wife, Nancy Zimmerman (9), and created the Russian Recovery Fund which bought $230 million of Russian debt from Julian Robertson’s Tiger Management (10), who’s seed fun, Tiger Global, later invested in Milner’s DST. Len Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg are major investors in Rusal (11). Schleifer is still a professor at Harvard.
Breyer and Harvard On April 2013, two months after Breyer was elected to the board of Harvard (1), Len Blavatnik, donated $50 million to the school (2) and joined the Board of Dean’s Advisors (3)(4) and Harvard’s Global Advisory Council (6) alongside Breyer. The next month Breyer announced plans to step down from the board of Facebook with an intention of focusing on his latest Harvard appointment (5). In 2016 Len Blavatnik donated over $7 million to GOP candidates, including $2.5 million to Mitch McConnell himself (7).
Breyer invests in Russian Companies In 2014 Breyer’s Accel Partners invested in Russian hotel booking site, Ostrovok, along with Yuri Milner, Esther Dyson (1), Mark Pincus, and Peter Thiel (2). Accel Partners also invested in Avito.ru in 2012 (3) and KupiVIP.ru in 2011 (4).
Jim Breyer, Blackstone Group, and Saudi Arabia In 2011 Schwarzman was named to the board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (2), headed by Kirill Dimitriev. In June 2016, during Trump’s presidential campaign, Jim Breyer met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman, or MBS (8). The next month Breyer joined the board of Blackstone Group (1) alongside Stephen Schwarzman and Jacob Rothschild (3). In the past Blackstone Group had loaned Kushner Companies a combined $400 million over multiple projects (7). In the 2018 election cycle, Schwzarman donated $5 million to the pro-McConnell superPAC, Senate Majority PAC (13). Jacob’s brother, Nat, is business partners with both Oleg Deripaska (4), Rupert Murdoch, and Dick Cheney (5). Nat is also a major investor in Glencore, one of the purchasers of Rosneft stock detailed in the Steele Dossier (6), and RusAl. In January 2017, Breyer’s business partner at Wickr, Erik Prince, was introduced to Dimitriev by MBS’s emissary, George Nader, and the Crown Prince of the UAE (10). On October 22, 2018, three weeks after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, when most American investors were spooked away from Saudi Arabia, Jim Breyer showed up at an MBS-hosted Saudi business summit alongside Kirill Dimitriev of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (9). That same day, MBS pledged $20 billion for Blackstone Group's new infrastructure fund (11) to fund Elaine Chao's $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan (12). Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnells wife and Jim Breyer's sister-in-law, is Trump's Secretary of Transportation.
An 18-year-old from New York has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Apple over a false arrest he says happened because of what he believes to be Apple's face recognition system. NYPD officers arrested Ousmane Bah on November 29th after he was falsely linked to a series of Apple Store thefts in Boston, New Jersey, Delaware, and Manhattan. Apparently, the real perpetrator used a stolen ID that had his name, address, and other personal information. However, since the ID didn't have a photo, the lawsuit claims Apple programmed its stores' face recognition system to associate the real thief's face with Bah's details. However, an Apple spokesperson told that the company does not use facial recognition in its stores.
A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after becoming one of the first people in the United States to be convicted of stealing cryptocurrency by hacking into cell phones. Prosecutors in Santa Clara announced the jail sentence on April 22. In February, Joel Ortiz had pleaded guilty and to theft and accepted the 10-year plea deal. Ortiz stole more than $7.5 million from at least 40 victims: the press release notes that he then spent $10,000 a time at Los Angeles nightclubs, hired a helicopter to fly him and his friends to a music festival, and bought top-end Gucci clothes and luggage. Illegal SIM swaps often involve duping phone companies into switching cell phone numbers to a new SIM card by providing stolen addresses and social security numbers. From here, hackers can circumvent two-step authentication measures that are designed to keep crypto safe.
Tuesday, April 23 — crypto markets rallied with bitcoin (BTC) hitting its new 2019 high of over $5,500. Citing data from the European crypto exchange Bitstamp, Bloomberg wrote on Tuesday that bitcoin has formed its first bullish golden cross since October 2015. The milestone followed a 35% price climb past $5,600, on track for its best monthly gain since the height of the crypto frenzy in December 2017, Bloomberg noted. Recently, Fundstrat Global Advisors founder Tom Lee revealed that his company’s bitcoin sentiment indicator Bitcoin Misery Index (BMI) has never been seen in a bear market. The expert noted that the BMI was over 50 throughout 2018, but recently touched a value of 89, which means that a “bull market is likely starting.”
Facebook expects to face a massive fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as the result of an investigation into its privacy policies—that's about one month's revenue for the social media giant. The FTC launched an investigation into Facebook last year after it was revealed that the company allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of around 50 million Facebook users without their explicit consent. If Facebook agrees, the fine will be a record for the FTC, which has never imposed such a massive fine on any tech company till the date. The FTC fine on Facebook will also surpass the $22.5 million civil penalties Google paid in 2012 to settle FTC charges for allegedly violating an agreement to improve privacy practices.
American entrepreneur and stalwart crypto advocate John McAfee says he is holding back on plans to reveal the real identity of bitcoin (BTC) creator Satoshi Nakamoto, for fear it will expose him to further lawsuits as he fights potential extradition to the United States. The news was reported by Bloomberg on April 24. McAfee — who founded the pioneering anti-virus firm McAfee Associates in 1987 — claims his technology expertise has helped him track down the real Satoshi. According to Bloomberg, McAfee said he had communicated with Nakamoto in recent days, alleging that the mystery figure is in fact a man living in the U.S. McAfee reportedly further noted that the alleged Nakamoto “is not a happy camper about my attempt to out him.” Bloomberg adds that while McAfee had at first told the news agency he would make his disclosure within a week, he is now holding back over concerns that the move could make him the target of multiple lawsuits.
What do you think? Feel free to leave your insights in the comments section below!
The cryptocurrency market is experiencing tectonic changes. It’s not about a 108.36% increase in the cryptocurrency capitalization this year. It’s about the projects who weathered the crypto winter and entering the field. Pillars of the traditional financial market are coming… The market seems to start maturing, with institutional investors increasing their exposure to crypto. On May 31st the number of Bitcoin contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange reached an all-time high. Cambridge Associates in their research mentioned that the industry “is developing, not faltering” and suggested that institutional investors should begin exploring it. Finally, according to Binance research, institutional investors were buying units in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust at a 40% premium. Given my VC background, I find the following evidence even more conceiving than the mere price of bitcoin. It’s the established companies tapping the waters. In June Apple revealed that iOS 13 would have a cryptographic developer tool. Prior to that in March Samsung presented cryptocurrency wallet for its flagship phone. Nevertheless, both Apple and Samsung are merely addressing the needs of the existing cryptocurrency community, without meaningfully contributing to its growth. New long awaited coins: Grams (TON) vs GlobalCoin (Facebook) There are two major IT projects that are set to push the horizons of the blockchain adoption. The first one is Facebook GlobalCoin initiative. It would be a huge PR event for the industry and would dramatically boost liquidity by introducing new investors who were not accustomed to the world of the blockchain. The second one is obviously Telegram with its Telegram Open Network. The publicly available archive with the client was updated to the next version on June 6th. Despite lower user base than that of Facebook, TON would face a better adoption thanks to the following facts:
Telegram is already widely adopted by the crypto community;
TON will be a programmable decentralized blockchain;
Grams, TON native tokens, are not stablecoins like GlobalCoin and hence will be more compelling from the investment standpoint;
Last but not least Telegram has better publicity in terms of privacy.
All these facts prove that the future of the blockchain industry and cryptocurrency markets is quite bright. Who are the major beneficiaries? The major movers in the field became the cryptocurrency exchanges. Most of them are evolving into full-service financial companies, with crowdfunding functionality (IEO) and OTC desks. They also start targeting institutions. Some of them are still struggling to get traction with fiat payments though. Overall, the cryptocurrency landscape seems to be clearer now, with many companies releasing nothing for months. With all the weeds taken out, we shall see a great advance in the blockchain space over the second half of 2019, in both financial services and blockchain segments. Blackmoon’s part of the pie As we outlined in our latest digest, Blackmoon has been working hard on introducing new products and functionality: 💼 Blackmoon wallet, 💳 Credit card payments, 🏦 Bank wires, 📈 as well as six new investment products. We are not going to stop, and July is going to be a significant month for the company and our community. Blackmoon plans to fundamentally improve the functionality of the platform. This will enable investors:
to access a dramatically wider range of investment products,
and manage their holdings more efficiently.
Moreover, this release will introduce new functionality of our native BMC token. I’m more than thrilled to tell you more details soon. Stay tuned to our updates to reach new crypto horizons together with Blackmoon. Handy links to stay tuned to our updates: website: blackmoonplatform.com telegram channel: https://t.me/blackmooncryptochannel Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlackmoonFG Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/BlackMoonCrypto/ DISCLAIMER Investment in financial instruments carries a significant risk of loss and may not BE suitable for every investor. Before purchasing our investment products, please consider your level of experience, investment objectives and risk appetite, and consult an independent financial or legal advisor to ensure the product meets your objectives. Please note that your investments do not have capital protection and carry a risk of loss, including the loss of the entire investment amount; therefore, you should not risk the capital you cannot afford to lose. This material is presented for information purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation or investment advice.
Plamen Bonev Co-founder and Chief Financial Advisor Plamen has more than 30 years of experience in leading positions in the banking and manufacturing area in Bulgaria and Switzerland. He has established the first private bank in Bulgaria and has integrated American Express credit cards system in the country.
Plamen Bonev Co-founder and Chief Financial Advisor Plamen has more than 30 years of experience in leading positions in the banking and manufacturing area in Bulgaria and Switzerland. He has established the first private bank in Bulgaria and has integrated American Express credit cards system in the country.
Paul Baron, MBE Senior Strategy Advisor Paul Richard Baron (born 1961) started Avon Accountancy Services in Bristol, UK in 1993 after qualifying as an ACCA chartered accountant. This has further grown into the AAS Investments & Consultancy Group, where in addition to the chartered accountancy services the group now manages a large property portfolio in the UK, as well as offering business and consultancy services across England. During his business career Paul has been awarded a number of prestigious recognitions for his outstanding services to businesses and the broader society, including Business Enterprise awards "Lecturer of the Year" Finalist in 2008 awarded in the House of Commons; Achievements Awards "Social Enterprise of the Year" Finalist 2009 awarded in the House of Commons; Prestigious Charity Times Awards 2013 – outstanding individual achievement “An amazing & multilayered passionate contribution to European & UK civil society”. Most prominently Paul was awarded an MBE (Member of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire) award in the 2012 New Years Honors List by the Queen of England.
Stoyan Angelov Senior Advisor Serial entrepreneur with a lot of experience in the technology sphere. Community manager of LockTrip.com and founder and CEO of Evedo.co
David Richardson Business Development Advisor David John Richardson (born 1962) entered the world of business after an extensive career in the British armed forces. Following a degree in engineering from Salford university, he proceeded to additional post-graduate qualifications in management and training from various prestigious UK higher education institutions, such as the London Business School, Oxford and Cambridge. His varied business career includes working with the British government department for Training and Education, as well as being the Executive and Business Development Manager for the Prince’s Trust (with president His Royal Highness the Prince
George Chisuse Senior Legal Advisor George is a King's College London LL.M. graduate and an Attorney-at-Law, registered with Sofia Bar Association. He leads a team of outstanding legal professionals covering all legal aspects of any blockchain related project and has an extensive experience with international token generating undertakings. George is specialized in the field of Law of International Finance and his background is associated with an international corporate law firm based in Sofia.
Barry Plechowicz Senior Advisor Barry was born in the UK in 1973 and holds a B.A. (Honours) degree in History and Education Studies from the Plymouth Marjon University, complimented by various certificates and degrees in teaching, psychology, sociology and ICT. More interestingly Barry holds a number of bronze, silver and golden medals from several kick boxing world championships. Most prominently in 2017 at the ICO World Championships, England Barry became a Gold Medalist World Champion despite being diagnosed with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in 2016. In 2000, he was made a member of the British Black Belt Hall of Fame for his dedication to the Martial Arts. As someone who is currently living with a chronic condition Barry represents the patients’ perspective and advises CUREStoken extensively in that domain.
Borislav Ivanov Senior Medical Advisor What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. Motivated by the pure power given by the knowledge of medicine, I finished my education in Medicine and specialised in Obstetrics and Gynecology just from the simple fact of the joy of helping in bringing new life to this world. But that wasn’t enough for me… Driven by the words of my wise grandfather, that said to me “If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life”, I continued my education and got my Ph.D. in Fetal Medicine. That opened the doors and my eyes, to a whole lot of opportunities that inspired me to keep this never-ending cycle to keep moving, and me to keep learning. Learning about helping people.
Stefan Krastev Co-founder and CEO Stefan’s main interests are in the topics of globalization, internationalization and decentralization. An Estonian digital citizen, Stefan’s main background is as a consultant and project manager on the matters of internationalization for some major colleges and NGOs across England, Scotland and Wales; as well as work on various social projects in Europe and internationally. Since March 2017 Stefan is a co-founder and Strategic partnerships coordinator for the Bulgarian start-up company Vision Technology, who are developing innovative products and projects aimed at providing accessibility and improving the quality of life, including “Vision – software for the color-blind”, which is an innovation with a potential to affect the quality of life and personal fulfillment of over 300 million people globally who are color-blind and struggle every day.
In case you missed it: Major Crypto and Blockchain News from the week ending 12/14/2018
Developments in Financial Services
A cryptocurrency exchange-traded product (ETP) that trades on Switzerland’s Six Exchange saw record trading volumes on Thursday and Friday last week, suggesting that institutional investors may be buying the dip in cryptocurrencies. Four major cryptocurrencies underlie the HODL ETP, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). While HODL ETP’s one-month average daily trading is 20,000 shares, on Thursday, December 6th, and Friday, December 7th, 53,233 shares and 62.986 shares were traded, respectively.
A report published last week by global anti-money laundering policymaker, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), indicates that cryptocurrency exchanges in the United Kingdom pose a, “low risk,” for money laundering and terrorist financing activities. The report, however, does highlight that such activities on UK cryptocurrency exchanges are an, “emerging risk,” although there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that these activities are occurring through cryptocurrency exchanges. In its report, the FATF urged UK regulators to, “Continue to develop an understanding of emerging risks (such as virtual currencies) and intelligence gaps, and take appropriate action.”
Andreas Utermann, CEO and CIO of Allianz Global Investors, called on global financial regulators to ban cryptocurrencies while speaking at a panel discussion in London. According to a report by Reuters, Utermann said, “You should outlaw it,” while participating in a panel alongside Andrew Bailey, the head of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority. Bailey responded by saying that Utermann’s comments were, “quite strong,” before adding that cryptocurrencies have, “no intrinsic value.”
Basis, a major US-based stablecoin project, is shutting down its operations and returning most of its funds to investors, according to a report by crypto news outlet The Block. The report by The Block cited, “multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation,” in claiming that the algorithmic stablecoin project, which generated UDS$133mm of funding through private investments in April, will return funds to investors. According to the Co-Founder and CEO of competing stablecoin project Nevin Freeman, Basis’ shutdown is due to regulatory concerns around one of its token types. Freeman explained, highlighting that algorithmic stablecoins implement a “secondary token”, known as a “bond token”, to help maintain the primary token’s peg. In many cases, regulators like the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) consider these secondary tokens to be securities.
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced that it has added Circle’s US dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC), to its combined Stablecoin Market. Circle, a company backed by Goldman Sachs, first released its stablecoin in September of this year. Binance’s combined Stablecoin Market features other notable stablecoins, like Tether (USDT), that trade against cryptocurrencies as interchangeable base pairs.
Coinone, a South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange, has officially launched Cross, a cross-border payments application that leverages Ripple’s xCurrent product to increase efficiencies. The application, released by Coinone’s payments subsidiary, Coinone Transfer, targets unbanked or underbanked South Koreans by enabling the transfer of funds to Thailand or the Philippines at a low cost.
Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange heralded by the Winklevoss twins, released an official company blog post this weekend announcing that the firm will support Bitcoin Cash (BCH) custody and trading. The exchange will support only the Bitcoin Cash ABC network at this time, adding that they, “are continuing to evaluate Bitcoin SV over the coming weeks or months, and we may or may not choose to support withdrawals and/or trading of Bitcoin SV in the future.” Additionally, the company detailed that its listing of BCH is pending regulatory approval by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Gemini, the cryptocurrency trading platform founded by the Winklevoss twins, announced the launch of a mobile crypto trading application in an official blog post today. Accompanying the launch of the crypto trading app is a new investment vehicle, dubbed, “The Cryptoverse,” that is comprised of a basket of cryptocurrencies weighted by market capitalization. While speaking to Bloomberg today, Cameron Winklevoss said that, “A lot of our decisions have perhaps given off a perception that we’re more institutional-based. The reality of the situation is that we have a diverse customer base. And the retail story is just beginning.” The Winklevoss twins went on to detail of a goal to expand reach to Asian markets by 2019’s end.
Good Money, a US neo-banking platform, has closed its Series A investment round that generated USD$30mm led by cryptocurrency-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital and the founder of EOS (EOS) Block.one. Good Money aims to provide a variety of banking service and certain financial instruments to US account holders while exploring innovative changes to traditional banking practices. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we as a society face – from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Good Money founder Gunnar Lovelace. Specifically, Good Money eliminates ATM fees while offering each bank user equity in the company.
Kraken, a notable cryptocurrency exchange, is seeking to raise funding with a USD$4bn valuation for the company and a USD$100,000 investment minimum, according to CoinDesk. In an email to investors, Kraken CEO Jesse Powell wrote, “There is presently a limited time opportunity available to a very small select number of clients to purchase shares.” The email goes on to detail that the exchange will close its offer on December 16th.
OKEx, the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, will begin listing Bitcoin Cash ABC under the original Bitcoin Cash ticker (BCH), as per an official announcement Tuesday. Additionally, OKEx will change the Bitcoin Cash SV ticker from BCHSV to BSV. The announcement by OKEx comes after other notable cryptocurrency exchanges have made the same switch, including Coinbase and Gemini.
PayPal, an online payments portal, has launched its own internal private blockchain platform that will allow staff to trade and exchange tokens while generating ideas and participating in programs to foster innovation, as per a report by news outlet Cheddar. The private blockchain network, which was built by 25 PayPal employees in just 6 months, will allow employees to earn more for enrolling in learning and development programs. The PayPal tokens are not tradeable, or worth anything for that matter, outside PayPal’s blockchain.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a big four consulting firm, is partnering with Bitfury Group, a large blockchain software and mining firm, to develop a blockchain accelerator specific to Russian businesses. As per an official press release by PwC, the partnership will leverage Exonum, Bitfury’s open source framework to build blockchain applications, for educational courses and seminars. The partnership aims to meet the, “current needs,” of PwC’s enterprise clients in Russia.
Revolut, a digital banking alternative with an in-application cryptocurrency exchange, announced that it has been awarded a European banking license. Seeking to become the, “Amazon of banking,” the license will allow Revolut to offer traditional banking services alongside its current cryptocurrency offerings to European customers. Nikolay Storonsky, Founder and CEO of Revolut, said in regards to the newly acquired license that, “With the banking license now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well, and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of Banking’. Our vision is simple: one ap with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology.”
Shinhan Bank, the second-largest commercial bank in South Korea, is launching a new project to implement blockchain technology in its internal processes with a goal of eliminating human error. According to a report by news outlet The Korea Times, Shinhan also recently completed a training program for its staff to increase their knowledge of blockchain technology across various applications. After Shinhan implemented blockchain technology for interest rate swap transactions on November 30th, South Korea’s second-largest bank is now aiming to apply the technology in its record-keeping process to enhance overall efficiencies.
SolarisBank, Germany’s second-largest and Europe’s ninth-largest stock exchange, is partnering with Stuttgart Exchange Group, a German fintech company, to jointly develop a cryptocurrency exchange. As per a report by Cointelegraph Germany, the joint cryptocurrency exchange venture, “is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2019.” This news comes after SolarisBank announced plans to launch a zero-fee cryptocurrency trading application this past May.
The Canadian city of Calgary is becoming the first city in Canada to launch a digital version of its local currency, according to a report by the Global News. Dubbed as the Calgary Digital Dollar, the digital currency will be exclusive to Calgary and operate alongside the country’s Canadian Dollar. Calgary-based businesses will now be required by law to accept at least 10% of a payment in digital currency, although they are allowed to accept up to 100%.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is launching a pilot of its Global Payment Initiative (GPI) to combat growing blockchain and fintech solutions, according to an official announcement last week. Currently, the SWIFT Network is used by global financial institutions to conduct global financial payments and cross-border transfers of fiat currency. Although the project is still in its early stages, the GPI pilot hopes to, “build the foundation of a new integrated and interactive service that will significantly improve efficiencies in the payments process and which will ultimately be made available to all 10,000 banks across the SWIFT network.”
The United Arab Emirates’(UAE) central bank is partnering with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to develop a cryptocurrency to facilitate cross border transactions between the two countries, according to a report by news outlet GulfNews. In a meeting pertaining to global banking standards and regulation in the Arab region, Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri, the governor of the UAE’s central bank, said, “This is probably the first time ever that witnesses the cooperation of monetary authorities from different countries on this topic and we hope that this achievement will foster similar collaboration in our region.” The prospective digital currency will be used by both central banks and financial institutions in the countries.
TokenSoft, a security token offering (STO) startup, has acquired a 20% stake in regulated broker-dealer Marpine Securities LLC in order to launch its own regulated broker-dealer. After acquiring the 20% stake, TokenSoft will launch its new regulated broker-dealer entity, called TokenSoft Global Markets, that will be registered through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The new regulated broker-dealer entity will allow TokenSoft to advise token issuers through every step of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) process. Additionally, TokenSoft will now be able to legally operate in services related to insurance and management.
Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors and a notable cryptocurrency pundit, believes that the current fair value of Bitcoin (BTC) is between USD$13,800 and USD$14,800, according to a note published on Thursday. Lee arrived at this valuation by taking into account the number of active wallet addresses, usage per account, and other supply and demand metrics. Additionally, Lee forecasted that the fair value of BTC will reach USD$150,000/coin once BTC wallets account for 7% of Visa’s 4.5bn account holders.
UAE Exchange, an exchange based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is partnering with Ripple to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittances platform by 1Q2019, as per a Reuters report on Thursday. The report details further that Finablr, a payments and foreign exchange company that owns UAE Exchange, observes a high level of remittance inflows from expatriate workers in the Middle East region. “We expect to go live with Rippel by Q1, 2019 with two other Asian banks,” said Finablr CEO Promoth Manghat, adding, “This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”
De Nederlandsche Bank, the Netherlands’ central bank, will soon require domestic cryptocurrency providers to obtain a license from the regulator to operate, as per a report by Dutch news outlet DeTelegraaf. The Netherlands' central bank is taking these measures in the hope that it will, “prevent such cryptocurrencies from being used to launder money obtained through crime or to fund terrorism.” In order to receive a license, cryptocurrency firms must maintain Know-Your-Customer procedures and report any suspicious activity to the Dutch central bank.
Eddie Hughes, a conservative member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, suggested that Bitcoin (BTC) should be accepted as legal tender for tax and utility payments, according to news outlet Express.co.uk. The article discusses that Hughes, who is a self-described, “crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge,” recently met with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which accepts cryptocurrency donations. This news comes after the US state of Ohio announced that it would begin accepting BTC as legal tender for tax payments.
Following a case in Canadian courts that resulted in a ruling ordering mistakenly sent crypto funds to be returned to their owner, a blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law is noting that there could be repercussions with the case potentially setting a precedent for lost or stolen cryptocurrency claims. The Canadian court case’s ruling will require defendant Brian Wall to return USD$370,482 worth of Ethereum (ETH) tokens to the plaintiff, Copytrack. The blog post from the University of Oxford Faculty of Law reads, ‘This precedent may have major repercussions for the enforcement of claims regarding lost or stolen cryptocurrencies,” adding that the ruling allows the plaintiff to recover tokens, “in whatsoever hands those Ether Tokens may currently be held.”
Japan’s government is considering plans to ease cryptocurrency taxes in an effort to revitalize the domestic cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This week, Japanese Congressman Takeshi Fujimaki proposed four significant changes to taxation requirements pertaining to digital assets, which include: a reduction on the cryptocurrency gains tax from 55% to 20%; elimination of taxes on crypto-to-crypto payments; elimination of taxes on miniscule cryptocurrency payments; and an adjustment that would allow cryptocurrency investors to carry forward losses across quarters and years, effectively until cryptocurrencies are ‘cashed’ out.
Jay Clayton, Chairman for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC), said during a speech that Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), “can be effective,” for fundraising, but that, “securities laws must be followed.” Clayton went on in his speech to comment on the US SEC’s work regarding distributed ledger technology (DLT), digital assets, and ICOs, saying that it is an, “area where the Commission and staff have spent a significant amount of time,” and, “that this trend will continue in 2019.”
Jay Clayton, the Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), expressed his optimism for distributed ledger technology’s potential impact on traditional financial markets in a testimony before the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs yesterday. According to a transcript published on the SEC’s website, Clayton said, “I am optimistic that developments in distributed ledger technology can help facilitate capital formation, providing promising investment opportunities for both institutional and Main Street Investors.” Additionally, Clayton highlighted that the SEC is, “Focusing a significant amount of attention and resources on digital assets and initial coin offerings (ICOs).”
Maxim Akimov, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, announced that no significant changes will be made to the draft of a bill concerning cryptocurrency regulation in the country, as per news outlet Finmarket. The bill was already approved by Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, in May 2018, although the bill has generated substantial discussion since. Since approval of the bill, all cryptocurrency and token-related terminology have been removed and replaced with the term “digital rights”. At the beginning of December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, Chairman of Russia’s State Duma, said that the bill needed to be, “significantly,” changed.
Pan Gongsheng, a deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, highlighted that Security Token Offerings (STOs) in China are illegal while speaking at a summit in Beijing. As per a report by news outlet the South China Morning Post, Gongsheng told the summit that, “illegal financing activities through STOs and ICOs were still rampant in the mainland despite a nationwide clean-up of the cryptocurrency market last year.” In citing reasoning for the continued ban on STOs, Gongsheng explained that, “Virtual money has become an accomplice to all kinds of illegal and criminal activities.”
Pantera Capital, a blockchain and cryptocurrency-focused investment firm and hedge fund, is warning investors that as much as a quarter of their ICO project could potentially be violating US securities laws, according to a Bloomberg report. In a newsletter to clients, Pantera Capital warned, “While we believe the vast majority of the projects in our portfolio should not be affected, approximately 25% of our fund’s capital is invested in other projects with liquid tokens that sold to US investors without using Regulation D or Regulation S”
Russia has no intention of implementing Venezuela’s state-backed digital currency, the Petro, into commercial operations, according to a report by news outlet RIA Novosti. While speaking to reporters this week, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said, “Representatives from our tax service and central bank... got acquainted with the cryptocurrency Venezuela is introducing,” adding, “But no more than that. As for payments, they’re not happening yet.”
South Korea’s representative body, the National Assembly, held its first official meeting with seven of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges on Monday. The purpose of the meeting was to debate cryptocurrency regulation between stakeholders of South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrency exchanges Bithumb, CobitCoin, Coinone, Upbit, Gopax, Coinplug, and Hanbitco were among the attendees of the debate, which reportedly focused on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) customer protections and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The United Kingdom’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental financial security body, is calling on the country’s government to increase monitoring of cryptocurrency markets. According to an official report last week, the UK must overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) efforts in order to prevent illicit activities with cryptocurrencies. “Virtual currency exchange providers are not yet covered by AML/CFT requirements,” the report details, adding, “this is an emerging risk and there is not yet evidence to suggest that broad scale ML/TF is occurring in the UK through this relatively small sector.”
The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is interested in learning more about the Ethereum (ETH) network, its technology, and the markets build around it. On Tuesday, the CFTC published a Request for Input (RFI) that requests the public’s feedback on different questions concerning Ethereum. The RFI explains that its goal is to inform the CFTC about Ethereum and similar emerging technology, saying, “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives market as well as monitoring and reducing the systematic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand the similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.”
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (US SEC) is ordering that cryptocurrency asset manager CoinAlpha Advisors LLC pay a USD$50,000 fine, alleging that the firm conducted an unregistered securities sale. After forming in October 2017, CoinAlpha raised more than USD$600,000 from investors to invest in digital assets. In an official release, the US SEC said that CoinAlpha did not file a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities, meaning that the firm breached securities laws by soliciting securities investors. Additionally, the firm allegedly did not adhere to proper know-your-customer procedures to verify that investors were accredited.
Venezuela is reportedly beginning to convert its citizens’ monthly pension payments into Petros, Venezuela’s controversial state and oil-backed cryptocurrency, according to a report by local economics blog the Caracas Chronicles. The conversion of Venezuelan pensioners’ payments into Petros came after the country already sent pensioners their monthly payment in the form of a check for Venezuelan Bolivars -- normally, upon receiving their check, pensioners would deposit their funds into a bank account where they could then withdraw fiat from local branches. The Venezuelan government, however, converted pensioners’ fiat payments into the Petro upon their deposit into a bank. In the first few weeks of the Petro’s existence, its value has risen from 9,000 to more than 15,000.
Warren Davidson, an Ohio Congressman and notable advocate of blockchain and digital assets, is floating blockchain technology as a solution to fund US President Donald Trump’s prospective US-Mexico border wall. While interviewing with NPR, Congressman Davidson suggested, “the American people, or whomever should choose to donate,” could pay for the border wall, adding, “you could do it with sort of like a crowdfunding site or you could do a blockchain and you could have WallCoins.”
“The long-term value of Bitcoin (BTC) is more likely to be USD$100 than USD$100,000,” says Kenneth Rogoff, a former Chief Economist for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the current Harvard University Professor of Economics and Public Policy. While writing an article for major UK news outlet The Guardian, Rogoff highlighted that, because BTC’s use is limited to transactions, it makes the digital asset more vulnerable to a bubble-like collapse. Rogoff also cited that BTC’s energy-intensive verification processes is, “vastly less efficient,” than systems that leverage, “a trusted central authority like a central bank.”
A new report by PeckShield, a blockchain security company that monitors various cryptocurrency ecosystems, details that decentralized applications (DApps) on the EOS (EOS) blockchain have lost as much as USD$1mm in hacks since July 2018. The report details further that DApps on the EOS network have sustained 27 breaches since July, which are responsible for the up to 400,000 EOS that have been compromised from hacks. Guo Yonggang, a blockchain security expert cited in a report on the matter by crypto media firm Blockchain Truth, believes that the hacks can be attributed to security problems with the DApps themselves, rather than with the EOS network.
A new study published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Wednesday finds that the number of unique ID-verified cryptocurrency users nearly doubled in in the first 3 quarters of 2018. The study details that total ID-verified users increased to 35mm in the first three quarters of 2018 from 18mm at the end of 2017, representing an increase of 94%. As per an analysis of the study by Bloomberg, the growth of crypto’s userbase despite the market decline, “could signal that an eventual recovery could be coming.”
Amid the continued cryptocurrency sell-off, only two cryptocurrency mining machines remain profitable, according to real-time data from ASICMinerValue.com. ASICMInerValue.com, which calculates the profitability of Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners, indicates that only indicates that only the Ebank Ebit E11++ and ASICminer 8 Nano 44Th mining models are profitable for mining cryptocurrencies based on the SHA-256 hash function -- notable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) use this has function.
Bitmain, a large Chinese cryptocurrency mining firm, announced that it is closing its development center in Israel, citing current cryptocurrency market conditions. In closing Bitmaintech Israel, the crypto mining giant was forced to fire all 23 employees. Among the employees let go is Gadi Glikberg, head of Bitmain’s Israeli branch and Vice President of International Sales, who said on the recent market turmoil, “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”
Busan, a major South Korean city, will be the beneficiary of the South Korean government’s plan to spend 4bn Korean won (USD$3.5mm) to establish a blockchain-enabled virtual power plant (VPP). As per a report by South Korean news outlet Yonhap News Agency, the project will be angled as a national competition in 2019, hosted by South Korea’s largest electric utility, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). The VPP will integrate the idle capacities of multiple energy resources through a cloud-based distributed ledger in order to optimize power generation and decrease costs.
Church’s Chicken, a large international fast food franchise, is partnering with Dash Venezuela to accept cryptocurrencies in its Venezuelan locations. According to an official press release, 13 Church’s Chicken establishments will begin accepting Dash (DASH) as payment following, “extensive and rigorous days of training,” staff to understand cryptocurrencies. With the addition of Church’s Chicken, more than 2,200 establishments in Venezuela accept DASH as payment.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency payments platform, announced the appointment of former PayPal executive Tyson Hackwood to serve as the firm’s Vice President and Head of Global Merchant Acquisition in an official press release today. Crypto.com aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption by both merchants and consumers through their point-of-sale (PoS) transaction terminals. Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek believes that Hackwood will be integral in furthering this goal, saying, “As we develop the Crypto.com Chain to fulfill the current industry need to pay and be paid in crypto, Tyson will play an important role in expanding the number and quality of merchants that are part of our network.”
Hyperledger, a notable blockchain consortium, is continuing its robust expansion after announcing the addition of 16 new members at the Hyperledger Global Forum in Basel, Switzerland. Among the notables to join the consortium are, Alibaba Cloud, Citigroup’s Citi Ventures arm, and Deutsche Telekom. The latest addition of 16 members brings the total membership of Hyperledger to more than 260 different companies. In a public statement, Hyperledger Executive Director Brian Behlendorf said that, “The growing Hyperledger community reflects the increasing importance of open source efforts to build enterprise blockchain technologies across industries and markets. The latest members showcase the widening interest in and impact of DLT and Hyperledger."
Jeremy Henrickson, the former Chief Product Officer at Coinbase, has departed the US-based cryptocurrency exchange after serving since July 2016. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” said a Coinbase spokesperson, adding that, “he helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization -- overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” Henrickson’s departure comes after long-term Coinbase executives Adam White and Hunter Merghart left the US-based cryptocurrency exchange in recent months.
LinkedIn’s, “2018 U.S. Emerging Jobs,” report released on Thursday ranks the role of blockchain developer as the fastest growing job in the United States. The report by LinkedIn indicates that blockchain developer jobs have increased 33-fold in the past 12 months alone. San Francisco, New York City, and Atlanta are among the cities with the highest demand for blockchain developer jobs.
Orbs, a unique hybrid blockchain platform, raised more than USD$15mm in cryptocurrencies to fund its development of a public blockchain, according to a company blog post. South Korean application provider Kakao lead the fundraising efforts with a representative telling CoinDesk that the company, “always seeks to invest and support innovative startups, and Orbs is a good example.” In total, Orbs raised 139,000 Ether (ETH) and 892 Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to roughly USD$15.4mm. Orbs aims to build a public blockchain with this funding that is, “universal,” and, “scalable,” for decentralized applications (DApps) with the, “liquidity of a base layer.”
Samsung has reportedly filed patent applications for three different blockchain-related trademark requests that all pertain directly to smartphones, according to news outlet Galaxy Club. Specifically, the patents named “Blockchain KeyStore”, “Blockchain Key Box”, and “Blockchain Core” all pertain to cryptocurrency custody capabilities on smartphones. This news comes amid the release of HTC’s Exodus 1 and Sirin Labs’ FINNEY, both of which are being marketed as blockchain smartphones with cryptocurrency custody capabilities.
Sun Exchange Debuts SUNEX Network Token and Groundbreaking Solar Project Insurance Fund
Sun Exchange (www.thesunexchange.com), a blockchain-based solar micro-leasing marketplace, has introduced SUNEX, a new digital network token built for the Sun Exchange platform. The SUNEX network token is utilised in the new Sun Exchange Solar Project Insurance Fund (SPIF), designed to minimise risk and unlock financing for previously financially underserved solar projects. Sun Exchange provides members a unique opportunity to earn income while helping to bring solar power to developing global regions. Through its online platform www.thesunexchange.com, members can purchase solar photovoltaic (PV) cells for approximately USD 10.00 per cell and lease them to be installed in solar projects for businesses, hospitals, schools and other organisations in Southern Africa, the Middle East and other sunny developing regions. Solar cell owners receive lease rental payments, paid optionally in fiat currency or bitcoin, while the solar electricity consumers enjoy the benefits of affordable clean energy. The new SUNEX digital token and SPIF are the latest Sun Exchange innovations designed to maximise benefits for Sun Exchange members, while removing major obstacles for financing solar energy installations in developing regions. The SUNEX digital token is an ERC20 standard token built on the Ethereum blockchain. It is designed to make solar asset ownership through Sun Exchange more affordable and rewarding. Features of the SUNEX token include:
Opportunities to receive up to a 20 percent return in tokens by staking SUNEX tokens into the Sun Exchange SPIF
Access to discounts and lease bonuses when using the Sun Exchange platform
Priority access to new solar projects on the platform
A gamified rewards programme, which guides users towards maximising the diversification and social impact of their solar cell portfolio
Providing a secure financial environment for members is a top priority for Sun Exchange. Given the company’s rigorous approach to due diligence, all Sun Exchange solar project offtakers to date have proven reliable. “The new Sun Exchange SPIF creates a new layer of security and reliability as the company grows, stimulating investment in impactful solar projects,” said Larry Temlock, Co-Founder and CFO, Sun Exchange. “The SPIF is the world’s first crowd-sourced default insurance fund for clean energy projects in emerging markets.” Highlights of the Sun Exchange SPIF include:
Safeguards Sun Exchange solar cell owners against costs associated with potential solar project defaults
Unlocks the flow of capital into emerging markets Commercial & Industrial (C&I) solar projects, accelerating critical economic and social development
Sun Exchange members can grow their digital token holdings by staking SUNEX tokens into the SPIF
“Small commercial and industrial solar projects can drive urgent economic development by powering organisations such as hospitals, schools, small and medium businesses in developing regions. However, with aid organisations and NGOs primarily funding residential solar, and large banks and financiers only backing large and utility-scale projects, so these smaller but otherwise commercially viable solar projects fall into a major funding gap,” said Abraham Cambridge, Founder and CEO, Sun Exchange. “With the new SUNEX network token and SPIF, Sun Exchange is leveraging blockchain and the crypto-economy to further bridge that funding gap and address a very real global challenge that can impact the lives of millions.” “We have invested in the Sun Exchange and purchased SUNEX tokens, because we believe in the fundamental value of the business, and in the healthy growth of the network as people all over the world embrace renewable energy,” said David Orban, Founder and Managing Partner, Network Society Ventures, and Advisor to Sun Exchange. “The innovation of coupling blockchain with solar energy decentralises renewable energy funding and production, democratising access and setting the stage for the long term growth of Sun Exchange’s activities.” To date, Sun Exchange has provided financing for four solar projects throughout South Africa, which are now fully operational. The crowdsale for its fifth project, which will provide power for environmental NGO South South North, recently sold out in a record-breaking two weeks. “What is fantastic about the Sun Exchange model is that it benefits us as the recipient of power and it benefits the people buying the solar cells and it’s also a win for the environment,” said Carl Wesslink, Director, South South North. “Their unprecedented approach to solar financing can achieve installation at scale on a commercially sustainable basis. This is the catalyst required for realising our (distributed) energy revolution.” The SUNEX network token will be available to existing Sun Exchange members and the general public through a public token sale event, starting April 22nd, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. UCT. The Sun Exchange SPIF will be established shortly after the close of the token sale. Additional details on the new SUNEX token, token sale and SPIF are available in the SUNEX Network Token Whitepaper.
Korona: Europe’s Latest Cryptocurrency is Made in Hungary
Europe’s latest cryptocurrency, Korona, which its Hungarian founders claim is more stable, safer and cheaper than the others currently on the market, was launched in Budapest on February 15. “Over the next few years we are going to see a revolution in the banking sector,” said Jean-Marc Stiegemeier, Korona’s head of management during the launch. “Within ten years cryptocurrency will be used and accepted worldwide.” “Banking as we know it today will eventually evolve into different platforms. We started this project because we saw the opportunity to take cryptocurrency technology into the future,” he said. Despite being made primarily by Hungarians, the headquarters of Korona are in Zug, Switzerland. Asked why the foundation was not incorporated in Hungary, the team answered that Zug is today the crypto-valley of Europe: it is more efficient and more stable, two things both customers and shareholders are looking for. According to a recent study by Cambridge Judge Business School, customers are increasingly adopting new forms of payments for cost efficiency reasons, not least as banking fees are increasing every year. The Bitcoin network is used as a main payment stream for cross-border transactions by 86 per cent of those payment companies surveyed. However, it has serious problems in terms of transaction times, scalability, and the flexibility to build smart contracts on its system. “Bitcoin is slow and too expensive for businesses. It costs 20 US dollars for each transaction and it is not efficient for retailers,” Korona’s advisor and professor at the Corvinus Business School Dr Tuan Trinh explained. “The crypto economy 2.0 is based on three pillars: a digital payment platform, a crypto bank and Korona coin,” he continued. But how does it work? According to Attila Bustya, head of technology development, an e-commerce website will be launched, hosting all those websites which normally do not accept cryptocurrency payments. Also, a new integrated Price Comparison System will be created so that users can choose their products for the best and cheapest price globally. “For a top-notch phone we pay more in Europe than in the US, it is not fair,” he said, explaining the value of this new price comparison tool. “Business clients today find it hard to use cryptocurrency because of high taxation and missing information. We are developing business wallets which will allow businesses to register and receive various services to support their compliance: support for VAT reporting, invoicing, accounting and such like,” he continued.
A new report by crypto research company Bitooda claims that China accounts for only 50% of global Bitcoin mining capacity, and the U.S. 14%. The data is in sharp contrast with earlier findings In fact, you’d be hard pushed to find a better fit for a Bitcoin business. In a previous life, James was an options trader at two leading market-making firms. He’s also no stranger to academia, with a computer Science PhD from Oxford in Natural Language Processing as well as a computer Science MPhil and BA from Cambridge. (Image: Shutterstock) Despite a steady buzz around Bitcoin and other digital currencies, financial advisors have been reluctant to add them to client portfolios. A sound, global currency like Bitcoin will have the same impact on finance and the global economy. If you understand the potential impact of Bitcoin, it won’t be hard to understand why investing in bitcoin may be a good idea. Bitcoin’s Price. There is no official Bitcoin price. Bitcoin’s price is set by whatever people are willing to pay. Bitcoin's phenomenal rise this year may be making speculators very rich, but some observers say it's terrible for the environment. Once shunned as a murky domain for cranks and criminals, bitcoin
Raoul Pal: Bitcoin To 1 Million Global Markets Insolvent
We are not certified financial planners/advisors nor certified financial analysts. ... Bitcoin To 1 Million Global Markets Insolvent - Duration: 40:30. Cambridge House International Inc. 103,400 ... ALL-WEATHER-ADVISORS. Comments are turned off. ... Tesla Investor Says BITCOIN is ‘Contender For The First Global Digital Money’ ... Cambridge House International Inc. 160,690 views. Cambridge Global Advisors Senior Advisor Nate Snyder discusses the latest 5G activation and the new deals Huawei is making in Europe. About Rising: Rising is a weekday morning show with bipartisan ... I talk about how Bitcoin will eventually become an exit ramp from the crashing 80 trillion dollar financial system, the economic crisis, as well as the market impact of the global pandemic. If you ... Jersey aspires to be the leader in the digital currency revolution by playing a crucial role in the bitcoin ecosystem regulation. With this foundation, the director of Global Advisors (Jersey ...