Cryptocurrency Daily News Bulletin: July 19, 2018

July 19, 2018 12:55 pm Published by

General News

Canada’s only actively-managed cryptocurrency fund is currently holding approximately 91 percent of its assets in cash, a position it says it has taken based on uncertainty about the near-term trajectory of the market. However, the firm remains bullish on crypto and claims they are waiting for the right opportunity to turn their fiat back into crypto. 

China will lead an international research group on the standardization of the IoT and blockchain technology. The joint technical committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) have adopted the proposal for the creation of this international research group after a month of a discussion by committee members.

Russia: Cryptocurrency miners and holders in Russia will be regulated under the existing Internal Revenue Code, as lawmakers are looking to pass the bill on digital financial assets during the autumn session of the Duma. 

Singapore: CrimsonLogic, a Singapore-based e-government service provider owned by a government agency and a major port operator, has announced the launch of a blockchain platform focused on cross-border trade. Dubbed GeTS Open Trade Blockchain, the platform is a permissioned network that is run and validated by accredited trade compliance firms acting as nodes. 

United States Congress held two crypto hearings yesterday, whereby the tone was quite mixed between private industry experts, academics and regulators. Jerome Powell claimed that the Fed are not looking at creating digital currency and that they have no intrinsic value. Representative Brad Sherman said thatcryptocurrencies should be banned. However, Gary Gensler, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, encouraged speeding up decisions about sensible regulations in order to keep innovators in the US. Former JP Morgan blockchain lead, Amber Baldet, said “the committee can take a more proactive approach to regulation” to support a blockchain becoming a global infrastructure, as the US did with the internet. Her comments were reiterated by the director of the CFTC’s fintech initiative, Daniel Gorfine, who cautioned against what he called “hasty regulatory pronouncements”. However, a recurring concern throughout the hearing is the centralization of capital and mining in BTC. Only a few wallets contain over 90 percent of all circulating BTC and the largest miners of BTC are in China and Russia, both of which make up about 50 percent of mining power.

Digital Alpha Conference: Speaking at the conference, Barry Silbert, CEO of venture capital Digital Currency Group, said he is bullish on Bitcoin as an investment vehicle. He claims that “we’ve probably hit the bottom for the year” and that he put some more money into BTC last week. He added that he’s “100 percent confident a decentralized, non-fiat form of money is here to stay.” This was in stark contrast to Ken Griffin’s comments, CEO of the Citadel hedge fund, who reiterated his negative stance on Bitcoin. Griffin claimed that the younger generation should “do something more productive than invest in digital currencies” and that he has not had one single PM tell him to invest in crypto. 

Grayscale Investments published a report yesterday indicating that it is adding nearly $10 million in new investments every week to their crypto fund, primarily from institutions and other wealthy investors (56 percent of new capital is coming from institutional investors).

OKEx has signed an MOU with MSX, the Digital and Fintech arm of Malta Stock Exchange Holdings, to launch a new exchange in support of Malta’s “Blockchain Island” initiative. Dubbed OKMSX, the exchange will be well positioned to develop an institutional grade security-tokens trading platform due to the more open regulatory framework in Malta.

Stripe COO, Claire Hughes Johnson, said the reason behind the firm’s abandonment of BTC is that blockchain-based payment services are slow and not practical. She also questioned the mainstream uses of cryptocurrencies and the practical uses of blockchain technology.

Portfolio Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin $7,391.29 USD (-0.11 percent): Marc Lasry, the co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, is the latest billionaire to jump on the bitcoin bandwagon, claiming that it has the potential to reach $40,000 over the next several years as it becomes more mainstream and accessible to everyday investors. He advocates BTC over all other coins due to it being the default currency that new entrants into the market will go to. His comments come at a time where BTC’s trade volume is up over 100 percent from its recent low; helping BTC rally close to the $7,600 level. 

Ethereum $479.32 USD (-3.92 percent) software client, Parity, has announced some major changes, including the stripping away of its graphical user interface (GUI). The changes mean that Parity’s wallet does not now exist for general, non-technical consumers. All “installers and operating-system specific packages” have also been removed. According to newly published details for the Parity 2.0 client, the software is being positioned as “expert software for production use and shouldn’t be considered end-user software or an ‘Ethereum Wallet’.” This repositioning away from serving as a tool for everyday user’s places emphasis on those that provide infrastructure on the ethereum network, primarily exchanges and miners. Meanwhile, Israel-based blockchain startup StarkWare Industries announced that the Ethereum Foundation has awarded the company a performance-based grant. The company’s announcement states that STARKs will “allow blockchains to massively scale, with transparent privacy and post-quantum security.” If these claims are true, StarkWare could help alleviate Ethereum’s known scalability and privacy issues. Lastly, hedge fund Tetras Capital has issued a bearish call on ethereum due to technological deficiencies and is long bitcoin due to its upscale potential. 

IOTA $1.08 USD (-4.36 percent) have released the provisional roadmap for the Qubic website. Qubic will enable devices to interact with one another quicker. This will facilitate IOTA’s machine economy. Qubic will focus on three types of computations which include smart contracts, oracle machines, and outsourced computations.

Komodo $1.75 USD (-2.47 percent) platform has announced their partnership with Netcoins, allowing KMD tokens to now be purchased with fiat at 21,000 physical locations across Europe, Canada and Australia. 

Ripple $0.487726 USD (-4.48 percent) have announced the joining of Dan Morgan, who lead the company’s European regulatory relations. He was the Director of Policy and Regulation at Innovate Finance and started the first All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Fintech.

Stellar Lumen $0.313939 USD (10.01 percent): The flurry of positive news yesterday has seen Stellar overtake Litecoin for 6th place in terms of market cap. Perhaps the biggest contributing factor was the announcement made by Stronghold that they are to launch an asset backed token on the Stellar network which is in turn the first venture supported USD anchor for the network.

Tron: EXMO cryptocurrency exchange is listing TRX.

Waves $3.03 USD (-2.66 percent) have announced the release of a new version of their ‘Tokes Wallet’ on iOS App Store and Google Play Store. The application provides an easily accessible interface for the transactions of Tokes. 

Verge $0.025775 USD (-2.55 percent) has been listed on Stocks.Exchange and Gulden Trader Exchange., Jamie Saarloos

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