Cryptocurrencies move higher through week as Bitcoin trades above crucial $4,000 level
Feb 22, 2019
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Developments in Financial Services
- Pantera Capital, a cryptocurrency-focused venture capital firm, has reportedly secured a majority of its USD$175mm fund ahead of the expected March closing. According to a slide deck cited by CoinDesk, Pantera Capital has raised USD$125mm of the USD$175mm target for the fund. Last August, however, CNBC reported that Pantera Capital had already raised USD$100mm for the fund, indicating that the venture capital company has only raised USD$25mm for its fund in the last 6 months.
- KPMG, a big four auditing company, announced a partnership with Guardtime, an enterprise blockchain firm, to offer blockchain services to clients. According to an official press release published on Wednesday, "Using KPMG’s blockchain enablement services, KPMG professionals will work with Guardtime to provide strategy, assessment, as well as design and implementation services.” In its past, Guardtime has entered blockchain partnerships with notables like Ernst & Young and the Estonian government.
- Mizuho Financial Group, a Japanese banking giant, is reportedly set to launch its stablecoin for payments and remittances on March 1st, according to an article published by the Nikkei Asian Review. Mizuho is partnering with 60 different financial institutions on the stablecoin project, representing an aggregate 56 million user accounts. Dubbed J-Coin, the stablecoin and coinciding digital currency platform will link users’ existing bank accounts with digital wallets.
- Brian Quintenz, a commissioner at the US Commodity and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), suggested the creation of a self-regulation cryptocurrency industry group in the US while speaking on a panel at the Bipartisan Policy Center last week. Quintenz suggested on the panel that crypto, “platforms come together to form some type of self-regulatory structure where they can discuss, agree to, implement, and hopefully examine or audit.” Quintenz did acknowledge, however, that self-regulatory status would require a mandate by US Congress through law.
- The County Auditors’ Association of Ohio (CAAO) has formed a working group to deliberate the prospect of a blockchain platform in the effective transfer of property deeds. According to a report by blockchain startup SafeChain, the CAAO working group is currently testing how blockchain technology can be implemented to increase efficiencies in the execution and management of real estate transactions and title transfers. CAO chair Matt Nolan detailed in a press release, “We have a committed group to enhance technology and improve government operations to the benefit of the taxpayer.”
- Bitmain, a cryptocurrency mining giant based in China, observed a loss of roughly USD$500mm in the third quarter of 2018, according to financials filed through the company’s initial public offering (IPO) application. Bitmain, who is seeking to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, generated about USD$3bn of revenue in CY3Q2018.
- Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, discussed blockchain’s potential role in the authorization of user data in an interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain. Zuckerberg explained in the interview how a blockchain system would work in authorizing user data, saying, “Basically, you take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice to log into places without going through an intermediary.” Zuckerberg also noted in the interview that he believes the work Facebook does acts as a decentralizing force in the world.
- Stablecoins will play a key role in driving the mainstreams adoption of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, according to a new report published by Reserve on Wednesday. Reserve, a stablecoin startup based in California, published, “The State of Stablecoins 2019: Hype vs. Reality in the Race for Stable, Global, Digital Money,” that analyzes data from 50 cryptocurrency and stablecoin companies. The report details, “The development of stablecoins, price-stable cryptocurrencies, asset-backed cryptocurrencies etc. Is likely to play a critical role in how this new economy achieves mainstream adoption.”
- Samsung’s new Galaxy S10 smartphone will include a storage feature for private cryptocurrency keys, as detailed in an official press release on Wednesday. Announced at an event on Wednesday in Seoul, San Francisco, and London, the Galaxy S10, “is built with defense-grade Samsung Knox, as well as a secure storage backed by hardware, which houses your private keys for blockchain-enabled mobile services.”
- The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) outlined consistencies observed across fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) scams in an interview with Netherlands-based financials news outlet Paypers on Monday. According to the FBI, fraudulent ICO scams often misrepresent the professional experience of directors and promise prospects of unrealistic returns on tokens. The FBI elaborated further by saying, “Like any investment product, rates of return can never be guaranteed and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
*Data in Price Return and Updated Real-Time (with a delay), Source: StockDio