In a series of strong wins for blockchain adoption this week, Facebook is considering the technology for its messaging app, West Virginia ran the US’s first blockchain-based elections, and China plans to release blockchain standards by 2019.
Top Stories This Week
Owner Of New York Stock Exchange Mulls Over Addition Of Crypto Trading
The New York Times reported this week that the NYSE might be giving its customers the option to buy and hold Bitcoin, an assertion backed up by documents, emails, and anonymous sources that confirm these future crypto traders contracts.
Improvement Code Casper For Ethereum Network Released
A new version of Casper, a code upgrade for the Ethereum network that aims to improve the economic consensus protocol, was released this week on Github. The Casper code combines Proof-of-Work (PoW) with Proof-of-Stake (PoS), with the eventual goal for Ethereum to switch entirely to PoS.
Facebook Considers Blockchain Tech For Messaging App, Explores Cryptocurrency
The head of Facebook’s Messenger app--David Marcus, who is also on the board at crypto exchange and wallet Coinbase--announced this week that he is setting up a small working group for looking into blockchain use across Facebook. Media outlets also reported that Facebook is allegedly “very serious” about plans to launch its own cryptocurrency.
Iranians Use Crypto To Move $2.5 Bln Out Of Country
Iranians are increasingly turning to Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies in the wake of the US exit from a multilateral nuclear accord with the country this week. The news has plunged the country into economic turmoil, resulting in a surge of interest towards crypto.
Federal Reserve Bank Of San Fran Attributes BTC Decline To Futures Release
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco wrote in an economic letter this week that Bitcoin’s decline from December’s high of $20,000 to February’s low of below $7,000 can be attributed to the natural process following the introduction of a futures market--and both the CME and the CBOE launched Bitcoin futures last December.
“Suppose you could make a lot of money trading freshly harvested baby brains. Would you do it, or would you say that’s immoral? You wouldn’t trade them, would you? It’s too awful a concept. Well, to me Bitcoin is almost as bad,” — Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway VP
“I feel like I’m in two different universes, I need a passport to go between the Bitcoin world and my regular world,” — Chamath Palihapitiya, founder and CEO of VC firm Social Capital
Laws And Taxes
Colorado Passes Blockchain Bill For Records, Cyber Security
The Colorado Senate passed a bill this week that requires government offices and regulatory agencies to consider blockchain use for the protection of confidential records, citing the technology’s use in preventing criminal or unauthorized exploitation and theft.
China Government Body Considers Blockchain Standards Release In 2019
The director of the Blockchain Research Office at China’s IT Ministry said this week that a working group had already begun research on producing nationwide blockchain standards, with the goal to release the standards by the end of 2019.
European Crypto Exchanges Call For Regulation...Of Themselves
A UK crypto trading platform and an Austrian crypto exchange have asked for more clear crypto regulation in order to “know where we stand.” According to the two crypto companies, the current AML/KYC regulation leaves them uncertain as to how their businesses fit into the existing regulatory landscape.
Crypto Revenue Subject To Taxes In Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Taxes Ministry announced this week that crypto-to-fiat transactions will be subject to taxation, as any amount gained by selling should be recorded as income. A local news source says that the Azerbaijani crypto market saw an uptick in popularity from May-December 2017, falling in line with last fall’s global crypto craze.
Ukrainian Legislative Body Considers Recognizing Crypto As Financial Instrument
The head of Ukraine’s National Securities and Stock Market Commission said this week that the growth of the crypto industry has made it necessary to legally recognize cryptocurrencies and adapt financial regulations: “the point of no return is the past.”
West Virginia Elections Close As First Gov’t Run Blockchain Vote In US History
Two counties in West Virginia allowed citizens this week of a certain category--members of the military and those that were eligible for absentee voting--to vote using a mobile blockchain-based platform developed by Voatz.
World’s Second Largest Software Firm Enters Blockchain Sphere
Software company Oracle will be releasing a platform-as-service product this month and decentralized ledger-based applications next month, working with both a Chilean bank and the Nigerian government in their expansion into blockchain.
Australian Blockchain Companies Repurpose Old Real Estate For BTC Mining
An unused coal plant in Australia is being turned into a Bitcoin mining operation as per a partnership between two Australian blockchain companies. The proposed mining station would occupy two hectares (almost 5 acres!) of land.
More Australia News--Gov’t Considers Blockchain For Trade Supply Chains
Australia’s government is looking into using blockchain for the country’s trade supply chain, which would improve the methods of validation and analysis of trade data, said a spokesperson for Australia's Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
Telecom Companies Work With Blockchain Startup On Proof Of Concept
A collaboration between two major telecom companies and a blockchain startup has successfully tested inter-carrier settlement of services with blockchain. The tests will now be extended to other members of the ITW Global Leaders’ Forum
Diamond Mining Giant Tracks Diamonds From Mine To Retailer With Blockchain
De Beers has announced it has successfully tracked 100 high-value diamonds from the mine to the store using blockchain tech, as part of their commitment to only deal in conflict-free diamonds.
Mergers And Acquisitions
Bloomberg Partners With Crypto Merchant Bank For Crypto Price Index
Bloomberg has announced the release of the Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index (BGCI), created in collaboration with former Wall Street exec Mike Novogratz’s crypto merchant bank, Galaxy Digital Management. For the start, ten coins from the “most liquid” part of the crypto market will be listed, including BTC, ETH, XRP, and others.
Gainers and losers
The crypto markets saw a slight dip this week--most likely correlated to the news of the police investigation of South Korean exchange Upbit--bringing Bitcoin below $9,000 and Ethereum below $700. At week’s end, total market cap is around $397 bln.
Top three altcoin gainers of the week:
- Kin (36.52%)
- Ontology (13.11%)
- Skyecoin (12.84%)
Top three altcoin losers of the week:
- WaykiChain (-7.93%)
- Cryptonex (-4.56%)
- Mithril (-4.43%)
For more info on crypto prices, make sure to read Cointelegraph’s market analysis.
FUD Of The Week
Bill Gates Slams Bitcoin, Again
Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates again spoke negatively this week of Bitcoin, calling it a “greater fool” investment and he would “would short it if there was an easy way to do it.” Good news, Bill, there is an easy way to do it, and Tyler Winklevoss was kind enough to tweet you direct instructions as to how.
Dear @BillGates there is an easy way to short bitcoin. You can short #XBT, the @CBOE Bitcoin (USD) Futures contract, and put your money where your mouth is! cc @CNBC @WarrenBuffett https://t.co/4JIhF5vWsZ— Tyler Winklevoss (@tylerwinklevoss) May 7, 2018
Bank Of America Tells Its Customers, Again, They Can’t Buy Crypto With Credit Cards
Bank of America’s chief technology officer called Bitcoin “troubling” this week due to its lack of transparency--a deliberate characteristic of the cryptocurrency, which was designed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis--and reaffirmed the decision not to let customers by crypto with BoA credit cards.
South Korean Crypto Exchange Investigated By Police For Alleged Fraud
Crypto exchange Upbit is reportedly being investigated by local police in South Korea, who believe the exchange faked its balance sheets and deceived investors. Ten investigators will conduct an audit of the exchange’s crypto holdings.
Coinhive ‘Cryptojacking’ Code Found On More Than 300 Websites
Coinhive mining code--a non-maliciously built but often maliciously used code for mining the altcoin Monero--has been found on over 300 government and university websites globally, according to a recent cyber security report. The sites affected are mainly hosted on Amazon with domains in the US, but the common denominator across all those affected is use of the Drupal content management system.
Prediction Of The Week
Fundstrat Research Uses Bitcoin Mining Costs To Predict BTC Hitting $36K By 2019
Fundstrat’s Tom Lee has predicted that Bitcoin will hit $36,000 by the end of 2019 due to a projection based on predicted growth of the mining industry. Previously, Lee had predicted $25,000 by 2020, then $91,000 by March 2020, and most recently $25,000 by the end of 2018--none of these heights mutually exclusive.
Founder at Orbs.com tells you all you need to know if you’re trapped on a desert island with the characters from hit TV show Lost and desperately need to operate a blockchain by hand.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make any kind of decision in the absolutely fairest way possible with every possible scenario thought out until the very end--related or unrelated to cryptocurrency and blockchain--wonder no longer!
Simple and efficient explanatory infographic on the basics of bitcoin for crypto newbies.