Lis 12

Stellar (XLM) Becomes Top-5 Cryptocurrency Pushing Out EOS

Open source cryptocurrency transfer protocol Stellar’s Lumens (XLM) token has entered the top five cryptocurrencies by market cap the week after its $125 million deal with Blockchain.


Stellar Lumens Beat EOS To Top 5

Data from Coinmarketcap confirms the repositioning, which gives XLM a market cap of $5.15 billion and relegates TRON to eleventh place and edging out EOS from the Top-5.

Stellar (XLM) 00 has seen considerable publicity over the past weeks after executives announced a giveaway campaign with wallet provider Blockchain worth $125 million.

Stellar: Headed Towards $1?

As Bitcoinist reported, the campaign was ostensibly designed to draw attention to cryptocurrency more generally among the wider populace, but XLM immediately profited, bucking the general trend to stave off losses taken by other altcoins since.

“We’ve already shared our thoughts on how Blockchain Airdrops are a great way for crypto creators to drive decentralization and adoption for new networks. We think they’re great for crypto users too,” Blockchain CEO Peter Smith wrote in a blog post about the giveaway, which is open to anyone with a Blockchain wallet.

“…We’re starting with Stellar because its network is built for scalability.”

EOS Battles Publicity Crisis

Stellar has instigated mass XLM giveaways before, a blog post of its own describing the feature as “core” to its “vision and strategy.”

“…The network has grown enough for mass distributions to make sense,” executives wrote.

XLM outmaneuvers EOS to enter the crypto top five, the latter facing fresh controversy this week after it emerged agents had the power to reverse transactions which had already confirmed on its network.

Currently causing furor on social media, the case in question involved an EOS account which had been phished and funds moved without the owner’s permission.

Settling the issue, an EOS ‘arbitrator’ took the decision to simply reverse the transactions, leading to criticism of the protocol’s ethics.

In an interview last month meanwhile, CTO Daniel Larimer dismissed the need for decentralized features in EOS, claiming the concept “isn’t what we’re after.”

What do you think about Stellar reaching the top five cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments below!


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Lis 09

Bitcoin to $250K by 2023 Prediction is ‘Absolutely Solid,’ Says Tim Draper

Serial cryptocurrency investor and billionaire Tim Draper has said his Bitcoin price prediction of $250,000 by 2022 is “absolutely solid.”


Draper: Destination Clear, Path Uncertain

Speaking during the giant Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon which ended November 8, Draper, who is well known for his optimistic outlook on Bitcoin, in particular, doubled down on his price forecast few others have dared rival.

“I have a pretty good sense of what’s going on four, five, six ten years from now because that’s my business – to meet with young entrepreneurs who are putting a future into my mind,” he told a panel which also featured Blockchain CEO Peter Smith and Managing Capital co-founder Garry Tan.

…My prediction for $250,000 by 2022 – maybe 2023 but in that range – is absolutely solid, but I’m not so sure how we’re going to get there[.]

Cryptocurrency became an increasingly focal topic at this year’s Summit, which with almost 70,000 attendees constitutes the largest such conference in Europe.

Smith’s Blockchain, announcing a partnership with payment network Stellar at the event, has begun giving away $125 million in the latter’s Lumen tokens in a bid to increase awareness and adoption of cryptoassets.

‘Just Go Do It’

While touching on different aspects of how the industry should grow in future, both Smith and Draper agreed on the need to continue placing financial sovereignty in users’ hands.

“Why we aren’t all… creating Bitcoin, putting together a wallet – just go do it so you get the feel for it because it’s so much better than what we have today,” Draper told the audience.

All three panelists, with varying degrees of reluctance, meanwhile agreed that BTC/USD 00 should trade higher this time next year, Smith additionally confirming he was still accumulating bitcoin.

Anticipation of an end to what Tan among many others referred to as the “crypto winter” continues to run high across the community, with markets yet to provide hints of an imminent end to bear market conditions.

Tan added he was uncertain whether the ‘winter’ would be over by the end of 2019.

What do you think about Tim Draper’s price prediction reiteration? Let us know in the comments below!


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Lis 08

EtherDelta Founder Charged with Operating ‘Unregistered Securities Exchange’

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pressed formal charges against Zachary Coburn, the founder of cryptocurrency trading platform EtherDelta, for not registering his company as a national securities exchange.  


Required to Register

According to an official press release, the SEC has taken action against the founder of digital token trading platform EtherDelta, Zachary Coburn.

According to the Commission’s order, EtherDelta constitutes an online platform for secondary market trading of ERC20 tokens — most of which are usually issued through an initial coin offering (ICO). Furthermore, the SEC has found that almost all of the orders which have been placed through the platform have taken place after its 2017 DAO Report. According to it, certain digital assets, DAO tokens included, are considered securities and, hence, their trading is subject to the Commission’s requirement that exchange register or qualify for an exemption.

According to Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of SEC’s enforcement arm, EtherDelta did neither of those, stating:

EtherDelta had both the user interface and underlying functionality of an online national securities exchange and was required to register with the SEC or qualify for an exemption.

Fines and Penalties Already Paid

The release also says that Zachary Coburn has already paid $300,000 in disgorgement, $13,000 in prejudgment interest, as well as a $75,000 penalty.

However, he hasn’t admitted to anything and the investigation is continuing. Still, the SEC recognizes his cooperation, stating that it may have prevented an even greater penalty.

According to Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, existing legislation needs to be followed carefully in order to protect investors in times of “significant innovation.” Noted Peikin:

We are witnessing a time of significant innovation in the securities markets with the use and application of distributed ledger technology. But to protect investors, this innovation necessitates the SEC’s thoughtful oversight of digital markets and enforcement of existing laws.

Do you think the SEC has merit to press charges against EtherDelta? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below! 


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Lis 03

3 Cryptocurrencies Likely to Beat BTC Price Short-Term (WaBi, BNB, TRX)

Who can beat BTC price in the short term? This week three very unique coins have been selected: WaBi, BNB, and TRON. WABI looks to be the top contender to produce the highest returns as a cryptocurrency.


Market Conditions

The price stagnation within BTC price 00 has led to many mini altcoin rallies. Cryptocurrencies highlighted in similar articles such as GOChain increased well over 100% since their being selected as an ‘undervalued cryptocurrency.’

These current market conditions represent a spring coiling in the cryptocurrency space. Summer was filled with negative news about Bitcoin and blockchain. However, since quarter four has begun there has been no real BTC positive price movement. This is contrary to the news which has been positive for over a month.

Last week saw:

  • NYSE’s parent company announced December 12th as their launch date for Bakkt (BTC settled USD pairs).
  • The country of Singapore invested directly in Binance.
  • The country of China which had previously different styles of bans on ICOs and crypto ruled BTC as property.
  • Coinbase added USDC.
  • Bitfury considering an IPO (not ICO).

The prior week in blockchain and cryptocurrency has seen BTC stagnate even with the spectacular news. The spring has been coiled and the question that remains is which cryptocurrency will appreciate against BTC in the next few weeks to few months?

When analyzing the market to see which coins have already had their mini bulls runs it becomes increasingly obvious that WaBi, BNB, and TRON should all have major positive movement.

WABI has the smallest market cap and significant quarter four news. Most of their news has yet to be announced but an exclusive interview with the founder this week provided some inside details. BNB and TRON are likely to produce returns far greater than BTC’s due to their communities and utility.

However, WABI is the most undervalued on this list as TRON and BNB have market caps over $1 billion, while WABI’s market cap is under $20 million.

Although a higher risk cryptocurrency play, WABI is most likely to produce the highest returns when compared to BTC and other cryptocurrencies in the market.

stock market quotes

WaBi 

WaBi 00 is a cryptocurrency with under a 20 million dollar market cap, is traded on Binance, has major events and news all quarter four, and provided an exclusive interview with the founder for this piece. Not only is right now the opportune time to research WaBi but it radiates as an undervalued cryptocurrency.

Walimai is a safe-channel ecosystem for consumer products. The purpose of Walimai is to secure supply chains of important consumer goods (such as baby milk). So what is the WaBi?

Well the WaBi is provided as an incentive for scanning anti-counterfeit labels of WaBi products. This helps drives consumer awareness of the product’s transition through the supply chain and insures product safety.

China (where WaBi is predominantly located) has had multiple scandals involving food which has resulted in large scale accidental poisonings. WaBi looks to solve the issue of supply chain monitoring for consumer goods and has found a way to incentivize the public for participating in the process.

The WaBi cryptocurrency once attained can be used to discount the cost of consumer products along with improving delivery terms. This demonstrates clear utility in a niche market which needed blockchain support (consumer goods and the supply chain).

Why is now the time for WaBi? According to CoinMarketCal WaBi is undertaking a full rebranding in quarter four, they are going to open up sales to South East Asia, Latin America, and Europe, and they plan to introduce Walimai Labels for pharmaceuticals as well. This is a very impressive roadmap for quarter four which led to my desire to speak directly to the Founder, Alex.

In my exclusive interview with the WaBi Founder, I was able to uncover a few more details regarding the upcoming big news. The rebranding is not just the altering of some colors. WaBi is about to undergo a full rebranding regarding the name, colors, fonts, websites (WaBi and Walimai). They have been working with a top design agency while having interviewed almost 1000 users regarding user friendliness and aesthetics. Their rebranding is the first of its kind because they are bringing the active WaBi community into the process. They are providing prizes to supporters who participate in the rebranding, holding an almost scavenger hunt to ‘find’ the new website and additional features.

A cryptocurrency rebranding is very exciting especially because of how different WaBi plans to handle it. Immediately following the rebranding WaBi intends to have a major press release push, almost identical to what they did in 2017 when they were featured on BBC, CNBC, Business Insier, Reuters, and many more (this prior PR push dramatically increased WaBi’s value). The rebranding, budget allocated for major advertising and press releases all take place in quarter four. The public only knows the basics about the rebranding and has no idea a major publicity campaign is about to begin.

The WaBi token is being introduced to a large number of convenience stores across Asia where deals are being negotiated currently to accept WaBi as a form of payment (not just as a discount or to improve shipping terms). This is one of the biggest surprises as once completed the WaBi cryptocurrency will be able to be spent simply across their biggest market demographic.

WaBi’s roadmap positions them with a focus on developed parts of the world where there is the lowest access to quality authentic imported goods. Places like China where counterfeit goods are rampant have been fast to adopt the WaBi coin and Walimai platform.

The WaBi team has been adding new hires and continuing to build out their platform during this extended bear market. The development team has seen 5 new hires added in the last few months. While most cryptocurrencies have been hiding in the shadows of the bear market WaBi has been building at an unprecedented rate.

The last poignant point Alex, the Founder of WaBi made was in regards to my question, “Given the market fluctuations since the ICO how has your coin coped?”

He was very direct in his response. WaBi is up 71% against BTC in the prior year, 8% against the USD, and 158% against ETH compared to their ICO prices. Their focus shifted entirely from publicity and marketing to internal product and core team development. He was also very quick to mention how supportive and active their community is, one of the main reasons WaBi fared so well against other cryptocurrencies. This internal development and platform enhancement is about to pay significant dividends in quarter 4 once the rebranding is complete and the PR campaign goes into full swing.

My final question was regarding the long-term plans for WaBi. I was excited to hear WaBi plans to enter the alcohol products arena as many parts of the world have suffered toxic counterfeit alcohol poisonings. This expansion of products is followed by their expansion to new demographics in different parts of the world.

Many supply chain cryptocurrencies have market caps in excess of 1 billion dollars. WaBi has a working platform, a utilizable token, a quarter four with more exciting news than 99% of cryptocurrencies, a dedicated team, and expansion at an unprecedented rate.

If there was a cryptocurrency that had a significant likelihood of “mooning” in quarter four due to every possible positive factor going their way, it would be WaBi. Look for WaBi to test 50-200% returns in the short term depending on how quickly the traders and investors look ahead to the cryptocurrency calendars.

BNB – Binance Coin

For those that actively trade or even occasionally invest it is obvious to “own” where you trade. The BNB 00 token is the native token of the Binance exchange. By possessing BNB in your account many benefits are provided from lower trading fees to earning a higher percentage of the fees generated by your referrals. If you have any referrals or make any trades it only makes sense to own the required 500 BNB to lower your fees while increasing your referral bonus.

Binance

It was only last week that Singapore announced directly investing in the Binance platform. Financial capitals of the world are taking a keen interest in the largest and most respected cryptocurrency exchange. Binance also announced that in their first week in Uganda they signed up over 40,000 users. Africa being underbanked and needing financial stability will likely turn to cryptocurrencies to combat hyperinflation. Exchanges will capitalize on this with Binance making early moves into the continent. This was not the only positive news for BNB and Binance this week.

Travelbybit is integrating BNB as a payment method across all their platforms and merchants. BNB originally had very little utility beyond the benefits it provided for ‘hodling’ on Binance (lower trading fees and a higher referral bonus). However, the BNB cryptocurrency is pivoting from a coin used solely to benefit Binance traders to one that can be openly transacted and utilized on the same level as the predominant players like BTC. This not only greatly increases the utility of BNB but when utility increases price usually follows soon after.

What about Binance’s fearless leader that seems to maneuver through any regulatory hurdle thrown his way? Changpeng Zhao or more commonly known in the crypto space as “CZ” is one of the most influential individuals in the entire blockchain community. Not only did he manage to build what has been continuously ranked as the #1 exchange by volume in under two years but also actively engages the community, attends conferences, and is exceptionally humble for all he’s accomplished. CZ is hands down one of the most active Founders in the space and his influence is rivaled by almost no one.

Supporting a coin that CZ is the Founder of, is the ‘baby’ of the largest cryptocurrency exchange, has news that regularly adds more utility (can now be used to pay for travel), and provides daily benefits for just HODLING makes BNB a top candidate for accumulation prior to the next bull run.

There will be a flood of new traders to the biggest exchanges when the Altseason begins, at that point it will be too late to buy BNB. The time to accumulate coins that are likely to trend North in the short term is not once Altseason has begun, but prior with enough time to enjoy the gains.

BNB is a cryptocurrency with a market cap over a billion dollars that should easily see 100% returns at the nearest sign of the next bull run.

TRX – TRON

 The cryptocurrency community has been all over the place regarding their feelings about TRON. TRX 00 is a cryptocurrency that like many has been on the hot seat through the bear market. Say what you want about TRX, the reality is their community is one of the most devoted and loyal in crypto. The only more enthusiastic community may be XRP enthusiasts. With TRX regularly being supported by their community regardless of market conditions this cryptocurrency popped onto the radar this week because of their upcoming quarter four news.

TRX plans to release their open-source platform on December 29, 2018. It seems many cryptocurrencies have a feeling the second half of quarter 4 will provide many catalysts. TRX’s open-source platform will provide a revolutionary smart contract and Dapps platform. This is when true utility begins. With their open-source platform going live in the final week of quarter four TRX seems like an acquisition target prior to gem hunters finding this news.

This week on November 1, Coinsuper listed TRX paired against both BTC and ETH. Even with the majority of top exchanges already supporting TRX their team has committed to continued listings. This shows that both the developers are hard at work on their open source platform while the community managers and Founders are focused on reaching out to exchanges and networking.

Directly following quarter four TRX hosts the Nitron Summit January 17 and 18 in San Francisco. TRX is fiscally positioned to be able to host conferences, pay for major exchange listings, fund future development, all through a bear market. If this does not demonstrate dedication in the crypto space, nothing will.

Justin Sun, the Founder of TRON is also one of the more influential individuals in crypto. Having such an influential, well connected, and educated blockchain leader is positive for any cryptocurrency.

TRX has their open source Dapp platform going live before the end of the year, they are hosting a major conference in San Francisco in January and were just listed on Coinsuper. For a ‘safer’ cryptocurrency play TRX seems to have many important catalysts through early January.

Beat BTC Price: Take Your Pick

Cryptocurrency is a risky environment to be trading, gambling, and investing in. However, with enough research, a significant portion of risk can be mitigated. Not every cryptocurrency selected will appreciate as no trader/investor is an oracle.

However, by analyzing almost every coin on Binance thoroughly, I’ve intentionally selected the ones that have the highest probabilities to appreciate in the short term based on upcoming news, their community, market sentiment, their teams, and many other factors.

The highest risk cryptocurrency, which is likely to produce the greatest returns from the cryptocurrencies on this list is WaBi. Their marketing plan coupled with a rebranding, platform expansion, demographic expansion, dedicated team, communicative founders, and major quarter four news provide more catalysts than most can expect.

Look for WaBi to outperform almost every cryptocurrency on Binance in the next few days through the end of December.

Changpeng Zhao Binance

For those looking for a safer ‘blue chip’ option, the cryptocurrency of choice would be BNB. CZ could not be more dedicated or passionate about crypto. Hopefully, more individuals emulate his behavior in the space over the long term. BNB benefits every hodler on Binance and as more traders begin trading again BNB will become highly sought after.

TRX has had the hype train take it on a wild ride. However, quarter four has plenty of reasons that as a cryptocurrency it should appreciate. Hosting conferences and open source platforms built for Dapps is a fantastic start regarding catalysts.

WaBi remains a coin that can likely breach a $100 million market cap providing a 6x for those that accumulate prior to the market cap surpassing $20 million. Given the high-risk high reward nature of crypto, WaBi should be on the “accumulation and research list” for those looking for major quarter four gains.

[Disclaimer: This views expressed in this article do not reflect the views of Bitcoinist and should not be taken as financial advice.]

To read the King’s prior articles, to find out which ICOs he currently recommends, or to get in contact directly with the King, you can on Twitter (@JbtheCryptoKing) or Reddit (ICO updates and Daily Reports). The King is the founder of ANON and actively trades cryptocurrencies.


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Lis 01

Bithumb Launching US Securities Exchange with SeriesOne Partnership

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb has joined the league of exchanges diversifying their international offerings by setting up a US securities trading platform. 


Preempting ‘Global’ Blockchain Asset Tokenization

Through a partnership with blockchain fundraising platform SeriesOne, Bithumb seeks to speed up its growth into a “global financial firm” by cornering the securities token market, local South Korean media outlet Yonhap News Agency reported Nov 1.

The announcement comes days after US exchanges Bittrex and Coinbase announced they were preparing to launch international versions of their exchanges catering to non-US residents in a bid to bypass the country’s complex regulations.

“SeriesOne actively sought to strike a deal with Bithumb after assessing it as the most suitable partner,” Yonhap quotes an unnamed Bithumb official as saying.

Bithumb will ramp up efforts to develop into a global financial firm as the blockchain-based asset tokenization is expected to spread globally down the road.

Bithumb

Platform To Launch By Q3 2019

The partnership will leverage SeriesOne’s license to operate as an environment for trading cryptocurrency tokens deemed to be securities by US regulators. The joint platform, Yonhap says quoting anonymous “sources,” should debut “during the first half of next year.”

In a tit-for-tat move, SeriesOne has already expanded into the South Korean market, where it also plans to trade securities.

The country continues to modify its stance on the cryptocurrency industry, authorities nonetheless opting not to end the country’s fourteen-month-old ban on ICOs.

“Although many people call for the government to allow initial coin offerings, there are still uncertainties related to such a move as well as the possibility of serious fallouts,” Financial Services Commission (FSC) Chairman Choi Jong-ku said during a parliamentary meeting earlier in October.

At the same time, Bithumb saw a change of ownership place it in the hands of Singapore investor BK Consortium, which purchased the exchange for $353 million.

What do you think about Bithumb’s US exchange? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Říj 28

Fidelity Won’t Build Its Own Exchange, Focused on Bitcoin Custody, Exec Confirms

Tom Jessop, President of Fidelity Digital Asset Services says that the asset manager will take crypto to the next level by enhancing the sector and providing a secure Bitcoin custody solution so institutional investors can get a piece of the crypto pie.


Bitcoin Custody Solution Will Remove Barrier

In the most recent episode of her Unconfirmed podcast, Laura Shin interviewed Fidelity president of Digital Asset Services Tom Jessop. The two had a cryptocurrency and blockchain focused discussion about the company’s plans to help develop the Bitcoin 00 and cryptocurrency market to a higher level of functionality and value.

When asked whether or not Fidelity would build its own cryptocurrency exchange, Jessop explained that he believed that the current exchanges do a fairly good job at this and Fidelity is more focused on providing custody services for institutions looking to become involved in cryptocurrency.  

Jessop also explained that a current barrier to cryptocurrency has been service providers that require pre-funded accounts and Fidelity intends to remedy this problem by building a more traditional investment platform, which allows users to execute trades on one or more exchanges at best price, then determine how to settle once completed.

Fidelity Foresees the Future of Crypto

Shin and Jessop them delved a bit deeper into the nuts and bolts of Fidelity custody solution and Jessop explained that at the moment there are plenty of investors with sizeable cryptocurrency positions that lack a custody solution and also find it tedious to carry out trades.

Fidelity intends to fill this niche by providing a cold storage solution and Jessop believes that the well-known fact that Fidelity manages more than $7 trillion in assets will provide the assurance of security that institutional investors require. According to Jessop, this is why Fidelity chooses to focus on custody rather than developing an exchange since “we know how to manage security at scale.”

Shin and Jessop closed the interview by forecasting future events in crypto and Jessop believe that retail and institutional interest in crypto is increasing as the market matures. He points out that hedge funds managers, family offices and emerging market analysts are all focused on creating new cryptocurrency products and instruments that will move the industry forward.

When asked what does 2019 hold, Jessop said the world can “expect more [influx] over this year and into ‘19, which will raise the bar for everyone and help accelerate growth in the market.”  

Do you think Fidelity’s Digital Assets Service will usher in the next cryptocurrency bull run? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Říj 22

Int’l Financial Watchdog FATF to Introduce Cryptocurrency Rules in 2019

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – an international agency which is intended to tackle criminal activity across the globe, is set to issue the first set of rules regarding cryptocurrency regulations in 2019.


Focus on Crypto Exchanges

The FATF is based in Paris and it is currently comprised of 37 countries. Its’ president Marshall Billingslea said that the agency will issue new rules regarding cryptocurrency regulations. Purportedly, they will require each country to thoroughly license or regulate cryptocurrency exchanges as well as companies which provide encrypted wallets. He said:

As part of a staged approach, the FATF will prepare updated guidance on a risk-based approach to regulating virtual asset service providers, including their supervision and monitoring; and guidance for operational and law enforcement authorities on identifying and investigating illicit activity involving virtual assets.

Additionally, the president said that the watchdog will be conducting regular reviews to guarantee that the countries are actually implementing the new set of rules. According to him, the rapid development of the functions which digital currencies serve also requires the FATF to review activities and operations which are contained within the existing standards.

globe

Billingslea:

In light of the rapid development of the range of financial functions served by virtual assets, the FATF will also review the scope of activities and operations covered in the amended Recommendations and Glossary in the next 12 months and consider whether further updates are necessary to ensure the FATF Standards stay relevant.

Billingslea also noted that he expects the additional instructions to be issued by June:

By June, we will issue additional instructions on the standards and how we expect them to be enforced.

A Steady Course

The FATF’s most recent move follows the agency’s current policy towards shedding regulatory clarity over the field of digital currencies.

Earlier in June, Bitcoinist reported that the agency will introduce binding regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges and that Japan is particularly active in that direction. In fact, the country launched a self-regulatory body in April, called the Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association.

What do you think of FATF’s recent move to issue its first rules towards cryptocurrency regulations? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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Říj 20

Crypto-Mergers and Acquisitions Increased by 200% in 2018

Institutional investors, venture capitalists, and other well-heeled entities “in the know” are using a year-long bear market to buy up future technologies for what might turn out to be pennies on the dollar.


It Takes Money to Make Money

Yesterday CNBC reported that most of  2018 has been a “deal frenzy” for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies as mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are reported to have increased by 200 percent. Pitchbook had JMP Securities crunch M&A data the results showed that by the end of 2018 there will have been 145 M&A deals.

The data is inclusive of majority investments, partial and full acquisitions but it does not pinpoint the exact dollar amount spent for each deal. JMP did mention that most of the M&As are “relatively small” as the sum is less than $100 million. The uptick in M&As took place as Bitcoin declined to trade nearly 53% below its January price.

Interestingly, buyers did not appear deterred by Bitcoin’s fall from $20,000 in January as the $830 billion dollar market capitalization began to disintegrate. In fact, according to Satya Bajpai, the head of blockchain and digital assets investment banking at JMP Securities, “You’re seeing a mispricing of assets.” Bajpai believes that the majority of crypto-startups have token values that “remain correlated to Bitcoin” and this phenomenon “can create an ideal opportunity for strategic acquirers.”

Crypto is an Investors Smorgasbord

Bajpai used the analogy of a “land grab” when describing how the rapid pace of growth and innovation in a new sector compels investors to buy up technology producers instead of attempting to build their own platform. Bajpai explained that “[The M&A route is] expensive, but you get the technology and product immediately. This industry is like a treadmill – the only way to keep up on a treadmill is to keep running by investing in new technology.”

The Ends Justifies the Means

Bajpai also pointed out that hasty acquisitions come with significant risks as a number of the companies scooped up during mergers and acquisitions are startups in infancy and have yet to prove themselves. Nonetheless, the uptick in mergers and acquisitions shows that many investors are willing to look past these issues as the potential for future returns could far outweigh these risks.  

What do you think about venture capitalists and institutions purchasing crypto-startups? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


Images courtesy of JMP Securities, Shutterstock.

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Říj 18

Goldman Sachs and Mike Novogratz Invest in Cryptocurrency Startup BitGo

BitGo, a company which provides institutional-grade investors with compliance, security, and custodial solutions for cryptocurrencies has closed its Series B funding round bringing in $58.5 million. Goldman Sachs and Novogratz’ Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC contributed with $15 million of said amount.


Investing in a $1 Trillion Cryptocurrency Wallet

In an official release from today, BitGo disclosed that it has successfully finalized its Series B funding round, bringing in a total amount of $58.8 million USD.

The lineup of investors includes companies like Valor Equity Partners, Craft Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, DRW, and, most recently – Mike Novogratz’ Galaxy Digital Ventures LLC and Goldman Sachs’ Principal Strategic Investments Group.

According to Bloomberg, Novogratz and Goldman invested a total of $15 million in this round of funding. The money is designated to support BitGo’s development of a $1 trillion cryptocurrency wallet.

Notes BitGo CEO, Mike Belshe:

This strategic investment from Goldman Sachs and Galaxy Digital Ventures validates both our market opportunity and unique position. No one is better positioned than BitGo to serve institutional investors who want to trade cryptocurrencies and digital assets. That’s why we’re focused on figuring out what it takes to secure a trillion dollars. The market’s not there yet but our job is to be ready first.

Novogratz Backtracks

The former Goldman Sachs partner sat down with CNBC’s “Cryptotrader” Ran Neu-Ner in July, outlining that the next price rally will require a “custody from a trusting source.”

Novogratz

At the same time, the permabull was quite straightforward on his position regarding existing custodial solutions at the time, namely BitGo, saying:

If I’m at the state of Wisconsin, I’m not going to risk my job on a company called BitGo.

Speaking on his most recent multi-million dollar investment–in the company he had no confidence in just four months ago–Novogratz said:

We have been impressed with BitGo’s world class team, their deep technical understanding of digital assets as well as their ability to deliver institutional-quality products to investors. Our team is excited to support BitGo as it enters into this next phase of growth.

Bitcoin (BTC) price 00 remains unfazed by the positive news in what has been an auspicious week for cryptocurrency so far and amid rising Bitcoin futures volumes on the CME.

“Institutional movement into the space continues …,” commented Bitcoin entrepreneur Alan Silbert.

What do you think of Goldman Sachs’ and Galaxy Digital Ventures’ most recent investment in BitGo? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


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Říj 17

EToro CEO: We’ll See ‘Greatest Transfer of Wealth Ever Onto the Blockchain’ [Interview]

Bitcoinist spoke with Yoni Assia, CEO of the largest social trading platform in the world eToro on their latest push to take cryptocurrency mainstream. 


Interview with eToro CEO, Yoni Assia

With over 10 million users globally, eToro has become a somewhat of a household name. It is also no secret that the company has been a big supporter of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for a few years now. Its logo is often seen alongside numerous cryptocurrencies almost everywhere in the UK and elsewhere.

etoro

Assia explained why eToro is so focused on raising cryptocurrency awareness, why regulation is important for mass adoption, and his opinion on ‘Bitcoin maximalism.’

Bitcoinist: You’ve just announced a significant cut in spreads on crypto-assets. Why did you decide to do this? User feedback or simply a way to make trading more affordable for the average person?

Yoni Assia: We cut our crypto spreads as part of our efforts to support the mass adoption of crypto.  We want to make it as easy as possible for investors to buy, hold and sell crypto and cutting spreads so clients keep more of their gain is one part of this.

Bitcoinist: What other bottlenecks to wide-scale user adoption currently exist in your opinion?

Yoni Assia: Currently, the level of understanding of crypto-assets is one of the barriers to wide-scale user adoption of, and investment in, crypto-assets. It’s a barrier that we’ve looked to address at eToro through building our community of traders and investors who can share their investment strategies and insights. From this, others are able to follow the approaches of those who have been the most successful. We also provide educational material and a virtual portfolio.

Other barriers for crypto center on the fact that this is still a very young asset class. Bitcoin, the first crypto, is still less than 10 years old. We believe that the challenges around scalability, speed, volatility etc will be solved over time.

Bitcoinist: Your platform has over 10 million users. Since the so-called bubble ‘popped’ in 2018 following the historic bull-run of late 2017, has your platform seen a drop in new user signups or the opposite?

New clients continue to join the eToro platform every day. Some come for crypto, others for the other more traditional asset classes we offer such as stocks and commodities or our CopyPortfolios. It is also interesting to note that many of the clients who were attracted to eToro by crypto have also diversified into other assets on the platform.

Bitcoinist: At current rates, can you give us an idea of how many users you expect to start trading crypto on your platform over the next few years?

Yoni Assia: While I can’t give you a number, we expect to continue to grow the number of users on the platform over the next few years. EToro is continuing to expand its global footprint, for example, we will be launching in the US later this year. Some people come to eToro for crypto, but we also offer a multitude of other asset classes.

Bitcoinist: What is the most popular cryptocurrency on eToro? Do you think this could change in the future?

Yoni Assia: The most popular crypto on eToro is XRP 00. I don’t have a crystal ball so I can’t predict the future. Our clients value diversification so we see interest in any new coins added to the platform.

Bitcoinist: Does a diversified crypto-asset portfolio still make sense given that Bitcoin has experienced the least bleeding relative to other cryptocurrencies?

Yoni Assia: Maintaining a diversified portfolio, both in terms of crypto-assets and in terms of wider assets, is a prudent way to invest regardless of market conditions or asset performance.

Bitcoinist: Etoro has signed numerous partnerships with major sports teams and pro athletes to promote cryptocurrencies. Have these efforts borne fruit so far? And what other initiatives do you have planned?

Yoni Assia: We’ve recently sponsored seven premier league clubs in the UK as well as German football team Eintracht Frankfurt. We’ve also partnered with French tennis player and eToro user Gaelle Monfils. These initiatives help us to raise awareness of crypto and we will continue to form partnerships that help us to strengthen our brand and build awareness.

Bitcoinist: Why do you believe regulation will accelerate mass adoption? Some regulations such as the BitLicense in New York state have forced companies to leave, for example. Do you favor more of a hands-off approach or clear-cut regulations just like in traditional finance?

Yoni Assia: A conducive regulatory environment is vital to protect consumers and foster growth and innovation within the investment industry. We believe that regulation will lead to greater adoption by institutions and intermediaries, which will accelerate mass adoption.

In the UK, eToro was the driving force behind the establishment of CryptoUK, the first self-regulatory trade association for the UK crypto-asset industry. Its remit is to promote higher standards of conduct and to educate politicians and regulators about the industry and its potential. We welcome the recent report from the UK’s Treasury Select Committee which reflected Crypto UK’s calls for the introduction of proportionate regulation to improve standards and encourage growth.

Bitcoinist: Why do you believe Bitcoin and crypto can offer opportunities to traditional finance? Wasn’t Bitcoin created to disrupt and disinter-mediate traditional finance, fractional-reserve banking, and fiat currencies?

Yoni Assia: We don’t’ believe that traditional finance will disappear overnight and we are already seeing many large financial institutions exploring the opportunities offered by crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it.

We believe that crypto, and the underlying blockchain technology, will have a huge impact on global finance. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize finance by enabling the tokenization of all assets, not just currencies. In time, we believe that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain.

Bitcoinist: Are you personally in the “Blockchain not Bitcoin” camp or vice versa? Why?

Yoni Assia: They are two separate things and being in favor of one doesn’t have to mean you are against the other. For me the easiest way to try and explain the significance of crypto and the blockchain technology that underpins it is to compare it to the internet.

The relationship between blockchain and crypto is parallel to the internet and email. Much like email is just one use case of the internet, bitcoin is just one use case of the Blockchain. Bitcoin was the first crypto and almost ten years after the white paper was written remains the most dominant.

Whether Bitcoin will still be the most significant crypto in another ten years is not for me to say, but I do believe that blockchain will transform finance in the same way that the internet revolutionized communications.

Bitcoinist: What is your opinion on Bitcoin maximalism? Will it be winner takes all (with everything being built on the Bitcoin blockchain in the future) or will there be room for many cryptocurrencies to exist?

Yoni Assia: The crypto-asset market is still very much in its infancy, and crypto-assets are still vying to prove their respective use cases to the world. Currently, different crypto-assets seek to solve different problems and are experiencing varying levels of adoption. There absolutely could be room for a few cryptocurrencies to exist, but it’s too early to say which ones this could be at this stage.

Do you agree with Assia’s comments? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter

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