Coming every Sunday, the Hodler’s Digest will help you to track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions, and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link.
Top Stories This Week
New York Stock Exchange Operator Announces Digital Assets Platform, BTC Futures
Intercontinental Exchange, the operator of 23 global exchanges including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has announced plans to launch an “open and regulated” global digital asset ecosystem, as well as one-day physically delivered Bitcoin contracts pending CFTC review and approval. The company, called “Bakkt,” will work with enterprises including BCG, Microsoft, and Starbucks.
South Korean Authorities Investigate Alleged Sunken Treasure Crypto Scam
South Korean authorities are investigating a possible cryptocurrency investment scam by the Seoul-based Shinil Group, who allegedly promised investors that they would be reimbursed with gold from a sunken Russian ship discovered last month. The Russian armored cruiser, which sank 113 years ago, is rumored to have about $131 billion worth of gold.
Square Payment Services Reports $70 Million In Bitcoin Revenue For First Half Of 2018
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square, a payment service that added a Bitcoin option in November of last year, revealed in a quarterly report that they have generated over $70 million in Bitcoin revenues in the first half of 2018. According to the report, BTC revenue over Q1 2018 was $34 million, Q2 2018 was $37 million, and the the total revenue for Q2 of 2018 was $814 million.
Kim Kardashian West “Moves Onto Bitcoin” At Charity Poker Night
Kim Kardashian West posted an Instagram Story to her $114 million followers last week of what appeared to be her staking physical Bitcoin chips at a charity poker night out. The physical cryptos appear to closely resemble a Kialara-designed bitcoin, which crypto entrepeneur Matt Roszak tweeted that he gave Kardashian West earlier that day.
Coinbase Custody Considers Addition Of 40 Altcoins To Its Custodial Service
Crypto wallet and exchange Coinbase announced this week that it is considering adding 40 new assets to its custodial service, with the caveat that they may be added “for storage only” and are not currently considering them for trading. Coinbase noted that the addition of an asset to Coinbase Custody is not indicative of whether it will be added to other Coinbase products, adding that all assets under consideration for trading must pass the GDAX Digital Asset Framework.
Most Memorable Quotations
“If something wants to be treated as money, you have to be able to spend, save and calculate with it [...] So we do not consider it [cryptocurrency] to be money as such,” —
Petra Hielkema, divisional director of the Dutch Central Bank
“And we don’t want your money. Give it to charity. We are concerned that others will entrust their money to something that is not secure in the way appear to suggest,” — Alan Woodward, cryptocurrency researcher, on his reasons not to claim the Bitfi wallet bounty even if a vulnerability is found
“But if you want to argue that I’m wrong, please answer the question, what problem does cryptocurrency solve? Don’t just try to shout down the skeptics with a mixture of technobabble and libertarian derp," — Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist
Laws And Taxes
Bank Of Thailand Allows Banks To Set Up Crypto-Related Subsidiaries
The Bank of Thailand has announced that local banks can set up subsidiaries for dealing with cryptocurrencies, while maintaining that banks and other financial institutions are still banned from directly dealing with crypto. According to the regulatory announcement, Thai banks can now issue digital tokens, provide crypto brokerage services, run crypto-related businesses, and invest in cryptocurrencies through subsidiaries.
Group Of Mt. Gox Creditors Update Terms Of Civil Rehabilitation Plan
Lawyers representing a group of creditors of the now-defunct Japanese Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox have revised their civil rehabilitation plan. The plan confirms that payments will be made in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, noting that the “remaining cash” from the sale of BTC and BCH should be paid to BTC creditors after the repayment to the monetary creditors. The newly updated plan also notes that reimbursement in altcoins is “unrealistic,” citing the differing selections of coins listed on crypto exchanges.
Cannabis Culture Media Org High Times Accepts Crypto In Initial Public Offering
High Times Holding Corp., a cannabis culture media organization, will accept Bitcoin and Ethereum in its Initial Public Offering in an apparent first time for a traditional stock offering to accept crypto. The High Times CEO said that they were adding crypto support in order to attract more investors to the company, noting that it would have been “foolish” to leave out the crypto investor base.
Australia Awards $1.7 Million Grant For Sustainable Sugar Blockchain Project
The Australian government has granted around $1.7 million in a grant to the Sustainable Sugar Project for using blockchain to track the provenance of sugar supplies to Australia. The initiative, known as the Smart Cane Base Management Practice, is part of the sugar industry push for more sustainability and traceability.
Crypto Wallet, Exchange Coinbase Rolls Out Support For British Pound
Major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase has announced that it will be rolling out support for the British pound. According to Coinbase, the new feature will let UK customers buy and sell crypto for pounds within the same day. At first the feature will be available only to some current customers, with the service to become available to all British customers “in the coming weeks.”
Tom Lee’s Market Research Firm Adds Bitcoin Payment Option
Fundstrat Global Advisors, Tom Lee’s market strategy and research provider, will start accepting Bitcoin for content via payment operator BitPay. According to the press release, the payment option will permit institutional investors, financial advisors, high net worth individuals, and other entities to use Bitcoin to purchase access to Fundstrat’s reports on different financial sectors.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ships 17 Tons Of Almonds With Blockchain
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced the completion of a successful trade of 17 tons of almonds from Melbourne to Hamburg, Germany, using its new blockchain platform.The platform runs on distributed ledger technology, Internet of Things, and smart contracts, with the goal to digitize operations, documentation, and finance in global trade.
Mergers, Acquisitions, And Partnerships
Binance Buys Open Source, Decentralized Trust Wallet In First Public Acquisition
Crypto exchange Binance has bought Trust Wallet, an open source, anonymous, and decentralized wallet that supports Ethereum (ETH) and over 20,000 different Ethereum-based tokens (ERC20, ERC223, and ERC721). Binance said in an interview that it paid a mixture of fiat, Binance stocks, and its own BNB token for the company, which will remain mostly autonomous with Binance helping with administration and work on marketing development.
Zambia Signs Memorandum Of Understanding With Overstock Blockchain Subsidiary
The Zambian government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Overstock’s Medici Land Governance (MLG), the American retail giant’s blockchain land registry subsidiary. Under the terms of the MoU, Zambia and MLG will work together on overhauling land ownership, allowing rural landowners to legitimize their estates and gain access to the financial world.
Thomas Reuters Partners With Crypto Tracking Resource Crypto Compare
Canadian mass media and information company Thomson Reuters has announced a crypto asset data partnership with cryptocurrency tracking resource CryptoCompare, with the company set to provide order book and trade data on 50 cryptocurrencies for Reuters’ institutional investor-focused financial desktop platform Eikon. Reuters’ director of strategy in innovation and blockchain noted that “decline in the price of many of the leading cryptocurrencies during 2018” has not lessened the “increasing demand from our customers for pricing coverage of the major names.”
UK Fintech Firm Billon Signs Letter Of Intent With Tech Provider FIS
Billon has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with international financial services tech provider Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (FIS), with the aim to integrate blockchain tech solutions. Billon, which refers to itself as a “civilized blockchain” company, will work with FIS on the exploration of joint product development and sales opportunities that could use blockchain tech.
Winners And Losers
The crypto markets have taken a hit this week, with Bitcoin dipping briefly below $7,000 and Ethereum trading near $400. Total market cap is around $256 million by press time.
The top three altcoin gainers of the week are Theta Token, aelf, and Huobi Token. The top three altcoin losers of the week are Cryptonex, ChainLink, and Mithril.
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
FUD Of The Week
Nobel Prize Winning Economist Paul Krugman Thinks Total Crypto Collapse Is Possible
Paul Krugman, an economist who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2008, explained his position as a “crypto skeptic” in a New York Times op-ed this week. According to Krugman, the crypto craze is moving the monetary system backwards 300 years. Krugman noted that the high transaction costs and a lack of tethering means that the crypto markets have the potential to “collapse” if people decide that Bitcoin are suddenly “worthless.”
NYSE Trader Believes Bitcoin Has A “Long Way To Go” To Become Mainstream
Alan Valdes, a senior partner at international advisory firm Silverbear Capital and NYSE trader, said in an interview this week that Bitcoin wallets seem “very iffy at best,” when asked about Wall Street’s intentions with cryptocurrencies. According to Valdes, Bitcoin has a “long way to go” before the public will get involved.
Mike Novogratz’s Crypto Merchant Bank Shares Plunge 20 Percent After Trading Debut
Shares in Mike Novogratz’s crypto-focused merchant bank have fallen 20 percent after their trading debut on major a Canadian stock exchange this week. Galaxy Digital LP trades a “Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd” under the stock exchange’s GLXY ticker, slightly renamed after Novogratz opted to secure the listing via a so-called “reverse takeover” route.
Goldman Sachs 2018 Market Outlook Report Calls Crypto Mania “Unsteady”
According to a July 2018 report by the Goldman Sachs Investment Strategy Group, Bitcoin and the “unsteady cryptocurrency mania” are one of the six factors that threaten the Goldman Sachs 2018 market outlet. The investment bank believes that the crypto markets will further decline, as they do not consider crypto to fulfill any of the “three traditional roles of money.”
US SEC Issues Subpoena To Former Beverage Manufacturer Long Blockchain Corp
Long Blockchain Corp., the former drinks manufacturer-turned-blockchain development company, has been issued a subpoena this week by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Long Blockchain Corp. changed its name in January of this year, resulting in a 500% increase in the company’s stock price, but Nasdaq announced the firm would be delisted in April due to low market cap. The company noted that they are complying fully with the SEC’s investigation.
This piece delves into the history of the connection between videogames and virtual money, beginning in the early 2000s when the idea of paying fiat for items in virtual gaming really took off in South Korea. According to the author, by the late 2000s digital value was “no longer just limited to nerdy kids in dark basements.” Now, the author believes, video games are already primed for the integration of blockchain and crypto.
Coinbase speaks with Fereshteh Forough, founder and president of Afghanistan’s Code to Inspire, about her coding school for girls in Afghanistan and how the use of cryptocurrency is giving Afghan women the chance for financial freedom.