Off The Blocks, Vol 31
|Sep 19, 2018||Public post|| 1|
Off the Blocks | Volume 31, Sep 4, 2018
At Proteum, we are dedicated to understanding tomorrow's "Internet of Value" and the stories highlighted by this newsletter are usually at the beginning of a new tech or business model uniquely enabled by blockchains. It is worth every executive's time to map their blockchain strategies and get an overview of the rapidly changing tech, business and regulatory landscape.
Quote of the Week
"Remember everybody used to bite Nickel, now everybody doing bitcoin."
- Eminem and Royce Da, in a new rap album, Kamikaze
Within the past week or two, Chinese regulators have taken the crypto industry by storm, taking drastic measures in an apparent show of force. Some of the country’s measures include restrictions placed upon WeChat’s crypto news outlets, Alipay’s OTC exchanges, crypto-related events, and 124 foreign exchanges that were somehow still available in the country’s intranet.
Additionally, Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google, has silenced crypto discussion and has started to impede Chinese citizens from accessing crypto-centric forums, discussion boards, and chat rooms. China is the master at sending out mixed signals toward Chinese crypto users. There are still many positive stories coming out of China - they recently called for industrial level deployment of blockchain. China also has a massive grip on the cryptocurrency mining industry.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has revealed daring plans for investment in private companies, with the potential to open the doors to Main St. in a way that could prove more inclusive to mom and pop investors than any regulation in years. It could also be the basis of a philosophical approach to cryptocurrency regulation. SEC Chief Jay Clayton said that the ideas were aimed at helping retail investors who want to take a small stake in a company.
Japanese social messaging giant LINE has launched its own cryptocurrency and in-house blockchain. The company plans to issue a total of 1 billion LINK tokens to users of its platform, saying it will keep 20 percent — or 200 million tokens — as a company reserve. The tokens will be used as payment means for a range of LINE services. In lieu of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), the new tokens will be distributed through a rewards system that compensates users with LINK whenever they use certain services within the LINE ecosystem.
Crypto exchange Huobi has become the largest shareholder of a public firm listed in Hong Kong, inching a step closer to a possible back-door listing. Pantronics, an electronics manufacturing service provider that was established in 1990 and went public in 2016 was acquired for $70M. Following that news, the price of the Huobi Token, the exchange's own crypto asset, immediately jumped by 8%.
The once reticent insurance industry is stepping up to offer protection to companies that store cryptocurrency, a volatile and loosely regulated, but rapidly growing business. Kingdom Trust, which has $12 billion in assets, is the latest example of having its portfolio of more than 30 cryptocurrencies insured through the Lloyds marketplace. Kingdom Trust received a “drastic discount” because of its technology, a type of “cold storage,” in which digital coins are stored offline.
Cryptocurrency investment firm Bitwise Asset Management has partnered with the digital arm of Morgan Creek Capital Management to launch the Digital Asset Index fund. The fund, which holds a market-cap-weighted basket of the top 10 largest digital assets, will be available to approved institutional investors and accredited investors such as endowments, foundations, pensions, wealthy families and sovereign wealth funds.
Yahoo! Finance will be allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies within its news and trading app. The app is a resource for trading information and also a place where trades can be executed due to Yahoo’s integration with broker platforms. Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether are among the options provided. This comes a few months after Yahoo announced that it would be opening a large crypto exchange in Japan.
California may soon be forming a working group to examine the potential benefits of blockchain to the state – and how best to update laws to make use of the technology. The group has until July 1, 2020 to draft its report, which "shall include recommendations for modifications to the definition of blockchain ... and recommendations for amendments to other code sections that may be impacted by the deployment of blockchain."
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That’s the well-known saying but it doesn’t hold if you are talking about Dr. Doom and Gloom. Nouriel Roubini, known for his pessimistic views about the crypto markets, was in Vegas and what he said created a lot of anger among blockchain believers around the globe.
For Roubini, blockchain is nothing but useless and over-hyped technology. It will never go anywhere because of the proof of stake and the scalability issues. No matter what, this is not going to become another benchmark because it is just too slow. Custody and adoption are other major issues.
Proteum is global blockchain advisory firm that works with public, private and start-up companies to help them transition into the world of blockchains and decentralized applications. We help companies strategically build their capabilities so that they can own and control their future. Let's put blockchains to work for your business.
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