Make sure you check out our previous edition here, now let’s go over what happened in crypto this week. Also, make sure you subscribe for this week's edition of The CCN Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.
Also make sure you check out last weeks interview with Bridge CEO Stephen Hyduchak.
- Bitcoin increased nearly 18% this week after months of slow decline. The price peaked at just over $7,500 Opinions are mixed on wether or not this trend will continue. BitMEX CEO Authur Hayes said in an interview with CNBC this week that prices would likely go higher, but not hit $10,000. He further explained that he "would like to see us test $5,000" for the currency to really bottom out. The opinion sharply contrasts with that of long time bear Barry Silbert who speculated that Bitcoin's price had finally bottomed. He's attributed this to a large influx of institutional money, which now makes up 56% of the nearly $248 million invested in the GBTC. Other bulls include former Goldman Sachs executive Christopher Matta who speculated that Bitcoin could see $15,000 this year and Billionaire Marc Lasry who speculated Bitcoin could see $40,000 within a few years.
- Ethereum is up 5% this week to $466.65. The currency hit the crucial $500 level before falling back down to $466.65 resulting in the respectable gain we saw this week.
- The Entire Market Cap is up 11% this week following large price increases by Bitcoin and a mini-bull run across the entire market. Stellar, which was also awarded Sharia certification this week, increased by nearly 35% before sliding nearly 10% as the market receded. This phenomenon is representative of a larger trend across the market which affected TRX, XRP, ADA, and EOS among others. It's also noteworthy that CoinMarketCap has removed it's volume requirements for cryptocurrency exchange listing.
- Chile to re-open Exchange Orionx's Bank Account: Chilean Court of Appeals has recently ruled that state-owned Banco Estado has to re-open the account of bitcoin exchange Orionx, after it seemingly illegally shut it down.
- G20 Watchdog develops 'Vigilant' monitoring framework: The Financial Stability Board, a global finance monitoring watchdog created by the G20, has published a new framework for monitoring cryptocurrencies. The framework aims at" identifying financial stability concerns in a timely manner".
- Dogecoin listed on Robinhood Crypto: Dogecoin, the parody cryptocurrency created in 2013, became the fifth currency to be listed on the app. Current currencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. The coin is an odd choice considering it's low market cap and rank, and the fact that it's own creator doesn't support it.
- BitPay receives 8th BitLicense: Cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay has become the eighth firm to receive a “BitLicense” from the NYDFS. BitPay becomes the first standalone payment processor to be allowed to process cryptocurrency payments for New York merchants and residents.
- Brazilian Police Bust Gang Who Used Bitcoin to Launder Millions of Dollars: Brazil’s Federal Police has recently arrested 12 individuals connected to a gang that allegedly used bitcoin to launder “millions of dollars” earned smuggling drugs into Europe, Asia, and Africa.
- Hong Kong Trade Finance Will Fight Fraud With a Blockchain-Based Platform: The Hong Kong Monetary Authority has partnered with Chinese Ping An to release a blockchain-based trade finance platform. The joint effort is expected to speed-up the process and prevent fraud. The effort now includes 21 enterprise participants.
- MLB to Launch "MLB Crypto" dApp game: Major League Baseball announced this week that it would be launching a dApp for buying and selling digital avatars representing moments in baseball games. The move comes as a way to attract younger crowds to baseball who have largely shunned the sport.
- Go Blockchain Game to Launch: Lee Sedol The Go World Champion who lost to Google AI AlphaGo in 2016 has announced a blockchain based version of Go, in collaboration with The Blockchain, Inc. The project, named GoBlock will run on the Ethereum network and follow in the steps of other Ethereum based games such as MLB Crypto, CryptoKitties, and CryptoZombies.
- Thai Bond Market Association to Launch 'Bond Coin': The Thai Bond Market Association has announced that it will create “Bond Coin”: a custom token on a private blockchain between permissioned participants including issuers and investors alongside regulators and registered firms.
- BlackRock Exploring Crypto: BlackRock, the largest exchange traded fund provider with over $6.3 trillion assets under management, is reported to have created a working group to look at ways to gain exposure to blockchain. and cryptocurrencies
- EURS Onboards First Institutional Client: STASIS, the crypto ecosystem which recently launched the stablecoin EURS that is paired exactly against the Euro recently announced that it had onboarded its first institutional client. This marks a major milestone for Malta based STASIS and stable coins as a whole.
- Messaging Giant LINE’s Cryptocurrency Exchange Begins Global Operations: Japanese mobile giant LINE has officially launched operations of its Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange BITBOX with support for 30 cryptocurrencies including bitcoin. The exchange, announced on Tuesday, will support crypto-only trading pairs.
- PwC Director Quits, Joins Cryptocurrency Exchange as CEO: A director at ‘big four’ accounting giant PWC in Australia has quit the firm to join crypto exchange bitcoin.com.au as its newest CEO. The company hopes to bring crypto products to corporate pension plans and capitalize on millennia's love of crypto and a trend toward self-managed funds.
- Boeing to Use Blockchain to Track Unmanned Air Vehicles: Boeing is partnering with artificial intelligence firm SparkCognition to develop a decentralized blockchain based platform capable of ‘tracking unmanned air vehicles in flight and allocate traffic corridors and routes’ to ensure secure transportation, the company said in an announcement on Tuesday.
- Kik Beta App ‘Kinit’ Goes Live on Google Play after $100 Million ICO: Kik rolled out its much anticipated standalone app, KinIt this week. Kin has raised over $100 million so far and this app is the first standalone app to utilize Kin.
- Oracle Launches Blockchain Cloud Service Platform: Oracle has formally launched its much-anticipated blockchain service, and many global organizations have already jumped aboard the platform. The platform, originally reported in May, is based on Hyperledger Fabric and includes a full featured IAAS.
- Mastercard Files Patent to Link Cryptocurrency With Fiat Accounts: The patent describes a method for the storing of both fiat and cryptocurrencies under one profile. The patent follows patents by Mastercard for anonymous transactions, travel itinerary bidding, and coupon authentication. It remains unclear wether these patents are meant to maintain Mastercard's hold over the payment space or if they intend to do anything with the patents.
- $20 billion Hedge Fund Joins Coinbase: A$20 billion hedge fund — whose name was not disclosed by sources — began using Coinbase Prime following its launch earlier this year, perhaps a sign that cryptocurrency is preparing to emerge as a mainstream asset, at least among alternative investments.
- Thiel and Bitmain Lead Investment Round in Block.One: Block.one, the $12 billion company behind EOS which has already raised over $4 billion amidst controversy from it's community and even HBO host John Oliver, is raising eyebrows over raising even more money. In any case, the investment on the part of Bitmain is believed to be part of it's efforts to diversify prior to it's IPO.
- Coinbase Acquisitions Approved by FINRA: Coinbase has announced the SEC and FINRA have approved the companies purchase of three companies that will pave the way for it's ability to legally offer security tokens. The claims were later walked back and they clarified that only FINRA had approved all three transactions.
- Korean Crypto Giant Bithumb Eyes Japan and Thailand for Expansion: South Korean exchange Bithumb has announced that it will open new offices in Japan and Thailand. Thailands lax regulatory environment and active fintech environment were cited as reason for the companies expansion their. Japan has been chosen for it's lack of exchanges after domestic exchange Coincheck was hacked and domestic cryptocurrency Monacoin suffered an attack. Despite recent rejections of exchange applications by Japanese regulators Bithumb is optimistic. Bithumbs has been criticized for being hacked three times in the last year.
- Bitmain Opens Silicon Valley Office: Bitmain has reportedly moved in a 20,000 square feet of office space in downtown San Jose. The company joins unicorns such as Okta, Cohesity, and Decacorn WeWork in the space. It was also reported this week that Bitmain was tripling the amount of people in it's Israeli offices.
- Korean Firm Issues ICO for $130 Billion in Salvaged Gold: Shinil Group, a South Korea treasure-hunting company, has announced that it will launch an ICO after discovering worth $130 billion in gold from the wreckage of the Russian cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi. Despite a video being released showing the wreckage, some doubt has arose as to wether or not the ICO is a scam.
- 81% of ICO's are Scams: According to a report by Satis Group, around 81% of the total number of ICO's launched since 2017 have turned out to be scams. The majority went to 3 scams: Pincoin which raised $660 million, Arisebank which raised $600 million, and Savedroid which raised $50 million.
- Macau Gangster Raises $750 Million in 5-Minute ICO aimed at sponsoring chess and poker tournaments online and throughout China's Hainan Province. Prior to the ICO, the Macau government warned residents about the potential fraud implicit in this ICO. In addition to the odd circumstances surrounding the ICO, the firms spokespeople have refused to answer any questions surrounding the ICO. They've also been connected to controversial firm Cambridge Analytica, which had planned a $30 million ICO prior to declaring bankruptcy.