Tuesday, July 30, 2019

 St. Louis Federal Reserve President, James Bullard, remarked that the US is headed towards a non-uniform currency, with crypto competing with the Dollar. Bullard further said that crypto tackles an “important social problem.”

Bakkt, the forthcoming institutional crypto exchange run by Intercontinental Exchange and partnered with Microsoft and Starbucks, opened its Bitcoin futures platform to user testing this week. Bakkt has been plagued by delay imposed by regulatory compliance. It’s unknown at this point when Bakkt will officially launch.

Robinhood, a trading platform for stocks and digital assets, announced a $323 million funding. DST Global, a prominent investor in internet startups led the financing round along with crypto-notables Ribbit Capital and Sequoia. The company will direct the capital towards expanding the business and offering new financial services.

Major European budget airline, Norwegian Air, announced that Norway-based travellers can purchase tickets with Bitcoin. The airline will also launch its own crypto exchange, the Norwegian Block Exchange, NBX in August. NBX will integrate Norwegian Air’s existing rewards program, and customers can earn points by trading on the exchange, which they can swap for discounts on tickets and other perks.

Major online tech retailer, Newegg is now expanding its Bitcoin sales service to 73 new countries, which is nearly its full range of operations.  Newegg was one of the first major online shopping destinations to start accepting Bitcoin as payment five years ago.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Major US bank, Wells Fargo, will no longer allow its customers to purchase Bitcoin with their own funds. Specifically, the bank responded to a customer complaint on Twitter that ‘they do not allow transactions involving cryptocurrency.’ Last year, Wells Fargo banned the purchase of cryptocurrencies using its credit cards, claiming they are too risky of an asset. Wells Fargo’s policy runs contrary to the trend of increasing crypto acceptance and integration by banks.

Leading digital currency asset manager, Grayscale reported that its assets under management nearly tripled from $1 billion to $2.7 billion due to the increase in crypto prices in the second quarter of this year. Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust was up 178%. The asset manager also reports strong inflows into its funds, signaling strong institutional demand for crypto investment.

Steve Wozniak, famous for co-founding Apple, announced his involvement with a Maltese blockchain startup. The new company, Efforce, is focused on using blockchain technology to improve electrical efficiency. Wozniak has made supportive statements in the past regarding Bitcoin

America’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating crypto exchange giant, BitMEX, for allowing US citizens to trade. Popular crypto trader, Tone Vays, was banned from trading on BitMEX due to his US citizenship but the CFTC suspects other Americans may be trading on the site by disguising their US IP addresses. $85 million was reportedly withdrawn from BitMEX after reports of the investigation. That’s what happened this week in Bitcoin. See you next week.



Monday, July 15, 2019

The Fold mobile app, which allowed discounted Starbucks purchases for Bitcoin is now back with Lightning Network support. Fold now allows for almost-feeless purchases at Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, Home Depot, Target, and more. 

Bitcoin got its first mention by a sitting US president. Trump tweeted that he is “not a fan” of Bitcoin, claiming that it’s volatile, un-backed, and can enable crime. He then bashed Facebook’s forthcoming “Libra” coin, saying the company will have to seek a banking charter and comply with banking regulations to operate. Trump ended his Tweet-storm by praising the US Dollar.

American football team the Miami Dolphins will accept cryptocurrency payments.
The partnership with the Litecoin Foundation will kick off at the start of the 2019 NFL season and fans will be able to pay with litecoin and bitcoin when buying tickets for the team’s home games.

During his testimony before the U.S. Senate, FED Chairman Jerome Powell said that “almost no one is using Bitcoin for payments” but it’s used as an “alternative to gold” and that “it’s a store of value.”
US lawmakers expressed concern during the session that BTC might replace the US Dollar as the world reserve currency. 

Japan’s Bitpoint crypto exchange halted operations after reporting a hack. $32 million was stolen of which about 2/3 belonged to clients. The exchange’s parent company lost nearly 20% from its share price following the news

Monday, July 8, 2019

eToroX, the specialized blockchain division of social trading platform eToro, has announced the launch of the first five of 120 ERC-20 tokens. ERC-20 is a technical standard that sets rules for tokens launched on the Ethereum or related blockchains. The new tokens include two eToro stablecoins and three crypto assets: Maker, Basic Attention Token and OmiseGO.

South Korea’s Shinhan Bank will impose stricter rules and monitoring on bank accounts related to any crypto trading. A string of hacks and fraud related to crypto exchanges in the country was cited as the motivating factor.

Fujitsu Laboratories has announced the development of a digital identity exchange technology. The blockchain based tech makes it possible for individuals and businesses involved in online transactions to confirm the identity of the other parties.

A 2019 global blockchain survey from Big Four accounting firm, Deloitte reveals that 73% of Chinese firms believe that blockchain is a top 5 strategic priority for their nation. 53% of responding companies in the United States held the same view, which is an annual increase of 10%.

Free speech social media platform,, has opened crowdfunding for the development and decentralization of its Twitter-like platform, Gab Social, and its new web browser, Dissenter. Gab’s Dissenter browser is forked from Brave but allows commenting on any web page and uses Lightning Network BTC payments to reward users who view ads.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

A video surfaced this week of an Iranian Bitcoin mining operation running inside a mosque, buildings which receive free electricity in the country. It was reported that $260k worth of Bitcoin has been mined inside 100 different Iranian mosques. Meanwhile, the government is shutting off power to identified Bitcoin miners and seized about 1,000 ASIC miners from two abandoned factories.

Square’s Cash App is launching bitcoin deposits. Cash App users can purchase and sell Bitcoin and they can also make cryptocurrency transfers to other wallets. The app might have started rolling out the feature prior to full launch according to Bitcoiners on Twitter as deposits are not yet available for all Cash App users.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has cleared Bitcoin derivatives provider LedgerX to offer physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts. Unlike the cash-settled Bitcoin futures, in a physical settlement, the buyer receives Bitcoin when a contract expires, rather than the fiat equivalent. LedgerX is the second company to receive approval to offer physically settled Bitcoin futures.

Coinbase released a report stating that 58% of Americans are able to identify Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency, whereas 37% are aware of it in general. Also, Bitrefill has unveiled a new Recharge service which allows Lightning Network integration with Coinbase. Coinbase users will be able to easily leverage the full capabilities of the Lightning Network through their Coinbase accounts.

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